Meredith Mendez

Meredith Mendez

MA in Higher Education Leadership Ambassador


San Marcos, California 

Expected Graduation Date

Spring 2019

What do you hope to do with your degree and why?

Being a first-generation college student, I am really grateful for the help and support I received from the student support program I was enrolled in during my undergraduate education, TRIO/SSS. I’m interested in being an academic advisor, or working in a similar student support program where I can motivate and support other first generation students. After finishing my first semester in the program, I’m more open-minded of other centers and departments that I would be open to working at.

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

While I was exploring graduate school programs, I came across the SOLES program and decided to reach out to a graduate admissions advisor and talk to him in person. The day I met with him, he let me know that there happened to be an open house the next day and I was welcome to attend. Going to that event, I felt really welcomed by the ambassadors and staff, and started making connections at USD that day. I loved the campus, and I became interested in the graduate assistantships they offered at the university.

Tell us about any internships, graduate assistanships, student teaching, practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES. Where did you work, what did you do, and how did it impact you?

I am currently the graduate assistant & outreach and events specialist at the USD Military and Veterans Program (MVP) located in UC 225. My roles and duties include planning outreach events to promote the services our office provides, and events sponsored by our center, such as career development workshops, Veterans Day Ceremony, military ally trainings, and much more. I interact significantly with the veterans and military connected students that come into our center, and it's been a great experience learning from them.

How has your SOLE education impacted your career and/or career goals? 

I went into the program thinking I would only focus on academic advising, or working in a student support program. As I’ve been working at the MVP and learning so much from my classes, I feel more open-minded about exploring other options, such as being a director of a university center or program. I’m meeting many different staff and faculty on campus, building my network and learning about different opportunities I can explore in the future.