Melissa Marin of American Student Assistance
By Natalia Aponte Reyes
It was just over 4 years ago when Melissa Marin decided to take a chance and head over to El Mundo’s annual Latino Career Expo. She had been encouraged by her mother, Aura, who had seen the ads running in the weekly newspaper.
“She was the one who gave me the basic information, like the address (275 Tremont Street in Boston) and the times (1pm-5pm) and then she just kept reminding me to go. She thought it might be the place where I would begin a successful career,” explained Marin.
She suited up, brought several copies of her resume and hoped for the best. It was there that she met and interviewed with several recruiters, but it was the friendly folks from American Students Assistance (ASA) that seemed interested in the young and motivated Rhode Island resident.
Because Melissa had recently started college at the time, she seemed like a good match for ASA, which is a nonprofit organization based in Boston that helps students and families manage higher education debt. Their services include counseling about repayment options, information, and support throughout life of loan.
“It was something I could relate to at the time and the career opportunity really spoke to me. My mom was right all along, this was looking more like one of the best decisions I could have ever made for my future”, admitted Marin.
After going through the interview process, it took her less than a month to get hired at ASA.
“At first I started off by assisting students with their federal student loans, but in a little less than a year she was promoted to her current position of corporate trainer. In this capacity she now trains personnel and staff within the company and manages several independent projects.”
As we write this, Melissa is excited about the prospects of moving even higher up within ASA as she is in the process of being promoted to a more senior position.
“It has been so worth it. I encourage anyone and everyone to assist the Latino Career Expo. I have even recruited and been part of the staff in recent years, so going back to the event that launched my career with ASA is always a special day”, said Marin.
Marin was born in Medellin, Colombia and raised in Rhode Island, where she still resides.
“It’s a 45 minute commute back and forth, but when you enjoy your job as much as I do, it’s not even an issue”.
She notes that she is grateful to ASA for giving her the opportunity to add value to the organization and for allowing her to grow professionally and personally as she was able to work and study thanks to ASA who paid her tuition at Rhode Island College where she recently graduated with a major in Business Management and a minor in Finance.
No stranger to work and discipline, Melissa started to work at a very young age taping TV commercials, and then moving on winning several beauty and talent competitions. She also worked answering phones for AAA, which helped her to sharpen her great customer service skills.
Today, she is happy and appreciative to her mom, ASA and the Latino Career Expo.
“It was certainly worth it to have gone to the Latino Career Expo because I found ASA, but I guess the larger lesson here is – always listen to your mom, they really do know best!”