Posted on February 22, 2018 by Joanna Carver

Saara Sayani For as long as Saara Sayani can remember she’s been involved in community and campus life.

Her interest in listening and working with others has motivated her to pursue multiple internship positions and extracurricular activities, which provided her with an added benefit—the ability to develop marketable professional skills.

For Sayani, a senior information systems major and aspiring information technology consultant, her efforts have paid off. Upon graduation she has already received a full-time offer to work for Goldman Sachs, and she is also pursuing other opportunities.

She discovered her passions early on as a college student by first landing a marketing internship with a software company as a freshman at UTSA. She accepted that internship as a way to discover her career interests.

“That’s what internships are designed to do; help you figure out what interests you. If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone to network with business analysts, then I would not have been able to focus on what I want to do,” Sayani said.

“Start early” is her advice to students. “It’s never too early to start working on your career path,” Sayani said. “That first internship was one of the best experiences I’ve had to grow and learn about my career field while testing myself in different areas of business.”

One key to success for her was applying for jobs that allowed her to learn more about the field she was interested in. She believes that those opportunities can be valuable in career exploration and that students often disregard that experience.

“I interviewed to be an AV technician at the student union which was a great way to orient myself to technology in the field and gain hands-on experience,” Sayani said. “Students shouldn’t overlook jobs as a way to prepare for their future career.”

She went on to complete an IT internship with Andeavor in the end-user services department where she gained a thorough understanding of company software systems, digital migrations and application packaging.

Sayani also developed her skill base by volunteering with organizations. She is the president of Delta Sigma Pi, an international business fraternity at UTSA; is a board member for Sitara, a Bollywood fusion dance organization; and works with the Ismaili student network.

She also rounded out her portfolio by participating in professional development training provided by the college’s Center for Student Professional Development. She completed the Career Action Program and utilized center resources for her job and internship search.

“It’s important to find what you’re passionate about, and how you can apply those passions,” she said. “Set goals and lead with integrity.”

Giselle Villalpando—

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— Joanna Carver