Essential Skills Extern reflects on her experience at Gonzaga

June 15, 2022
Opportunity Northeast

Tienaya Sigmund-Godes became the first extern for the Center for Community Engagement from the ZoNE Essential skills program. Tienaya spent 6 weeks with CCE meeting with Gonzaga University professionals from around campus. Tienaya reflects on her externship at Gonzaga University:

Seeing my name on the door when I arrived gave me such a sense of welcome on my first day. I came here (Gonzaga University) with a stigma, and I was nervous about entering into a place of so much knowledge because I have been judged so much as a single mom with 6 kids. The CCE was so welcoming and gave me all the information I needed to get started.

The Welcome packet included procedures, the Gonzaga Mission statement, and a break down of the division. It was so helpful and made clear so much of the work being done here.

I got to meet and talk to so many people with unique backgrounds and journeys from the university. It helped me realize different opportunities that I had not been able to see.

Things don’t really exist until you have a word for them, and Gonzaga gave me the terminology to see further. Meeting with HR and having a career coach helped me better understand myself and what work I want to do. Gonzaga showed me what I value in a workplace; whole person, ethical work place, flexibility as a mother, growth and support to better myself, and a passion for work.

Gonzaga University did not judge me for asking questions or saying something wrong and I have never felt that before. I have had a lot of personal growth in my confidence of my learned skills and work ethic and how to handle and live with impostor syndrome.

Here I gained the confidence and terminology to better convey my skills that I already have, but had been hidden away because I did not have the terminology. The Externship has helped reinforce my belief in myself.