CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Select the "more info" link for coronavirus-related resources and updates for Liberal Arts students, faculty, and staff. More info >

Vanessa Garcia

You are here: Home / Alumni / Alumni Profiles / Alumni Profiles Folder / Vanessa Garcia
'14 History | Lawyer, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office | San Antonio, TX
Up one level
Vanessa Garcia

Liberal Arts Major: History

Liberal Arts Minor: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Hometown: Lodi, NJ

Current Location: San Antonio, TX

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

I was part of Phi Alpha Theta, the history national honor society. I participated in the History Roundtable Club. Also, among many other programs and extracurricular activities, I was a LifeLink mentor and I studied abroad in Italy, where I took two CAMS classes.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

After graduating, I went to law school and from there my first job was an associate immigration attorney for Zuniga Law, PLLC in San Antonio, Texas.

What was your favorite class and who was your favorite faculty member?

My favorite class was CAMS 100, and Garrett Fagan was my favorite faculty member.

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

My liberal arts education prepared me to be a lawyer in several ways: 1. It gave me a broad range of exposure to different subjects, which has allowed me to see things from a different perspective and I was able to bring that to my new job. 2. I studied abroad, where I was able to study history in Italy. This gave me the opportunity to explore and learn a new culture, but not only that, it gave me the opportunity to take risks and try new things. 3. Lastly, the small size in classes gave more one on one opportunities with faculty and for more of an interactive class, which helped in gaining my confidence to express my opinions and suggestions.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Before graduating, I used to believe that it was all about knowledge and what you know. However, after being in the working world now, I whole heartedly believe that networking is a major part of your career path. The phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has played true in my career. My last three jobs I got because of networking, and I continue to emphasize the importance of that.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

When I was in college, I was connected with the new history mentorship program. My mentor was a lawyer, she had video calls with me, prepped me for interviews and reviewed my resumes and cover letters. As a young female trying to become a lawyer and needing guidance, it was extremely helpful in getting me started applying for work, scholarships and school. I was unsure how I wanted to proceed, if I wanted to work for a little then go to school, so it was helpful to have a mentor to go to to run ideas by and get her suggestions and opinions.

LinkedIn Profile

Return to Top