Alumni Q&A: Cesar Ramos '09

From the time he was a student himself, Cesar Ramos '09 has found a way to support and enrich the experience of Saint Mary's students. Hear from Cesar about how he has grown into his role at SMC.

Briefly, what do you do? What led you to this career path?
I'm Director of Student Involvement & Leadership at SMC. I currently advise Campus Activities Board and Associated Students. We also oversee student organizations and leadership programs, among other things. As a student at SMC, I worked in the Intercultural Center and then worked there as a staff. It was the work there that led me to this career in student affairs in higher education that I am now passionate about. It is definitely a career that is often overlooked but we do so much to keep SMC running and work closely with students every day and many times, through the night.

What is the best/most rewarding part of your job?
I really love meeting with students in a one-on-one setting and in small teams. This past spring and now fall, we are definitely seeing more students needing to vent, discuss, and process what is going on in our country. I like listening and supporting them through their college careers. Best of all, after they leave SMC, I stay connected with so many alums just like I have with my own past mentors/supervisors. 

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Besides managing the large amount of student meetings and events, the most challenging part is providing services and programs that all students will like. We work hard to produce programs and initiatives for students but not all of them agree with what we offer or want something different. We constantly need to evaluate and be innovative in order to make sure all students feel heard and included. I pride myself in wanting to offer new things for students and meeting them halfway. 

How did Saint Mary's prepare you for your job?
Great question! Honestly, everything I do I have learned at SMC. While I add my own personal touch to my work, I learned so much from past supervisors, advisors, and mentors. I even find myself utilizing some of my past academic work in my current job especially when reading through policies and procedures. While seminar was not my favorite class, it gave me skills that I constantly use at work and in my current doctoral journey.