Blog: How I used my work-study opportunity to acquire skills for the future

This is a guest post by Phung Tran, Coastline Student and Marketing Intern.

Many students are unaware of the variety of work-study opportunities that are available at Coastline. My first internship at Coastline began with the Intercultural Resource Center (IRC). I was first introduced to the IRC through a mentor assigned to me. They contacted and personally invited me to join the program. I loved the program so much that I continued for the second semester.

My mentor helped me discover myself and kept me on track with my schoolwork and goals. Because she was also a student, I felt that she understood me very well. Not only that, she introduced me to the staff, who were very welcoming and friendly, as well as her other mentee, who I later became good friends with.

The IRC was a place where I felt like I belonged because it was a student-driven community. It was fairly easy for me to ease myself in and become part of the IRC. I started off just coming in to hang out with my friends and heat up my lunch. Shortly after, I started staying longer to study there. Soon after that, I started to attend many of their college-hosted events, leadership classes and involved myself in their discussions.

The IRC became a place where I would go to after all of my classes; it was like a second home. They gave me the college experience that I was looking for. If you are looking for a similar experience, the IRC has two internship options: Mentorship and Leadership.


Phung is pictured in the center in a red jacket.

The Mentorship program played a big role in my involvement with Coastline. The program provides students with a mentor who can help them with their studies and be someone students can confide in. It was very important for me to have a mentor because they really helped me plan out my long-term and short-term goals, assessed my values, evaluated where I was in my educational road, and so much more. My mentor kept me on track and guided me to services that would help and benefit me. It was nice having someone that would listen to my worries and ease my stress. They really helped me have a smoother college experience. I would recommend all students getting a mentor.


The Leadership program really helped me build my confidence and put myself out there. I was able to be more involved in the community and college alike. Through the Leadership internship program, I was able to hone my leadership skills as well as develop new ones. While interning, the IRC provided me with many opportunities to explore my potential. The staff and mentors were a great help in teaching me to find the courage to take on more challenging projects. When I entered the second semester, I led an event and discussion.

Nearing the end of the year, the leads proposed and gave the students the opportunity to take on a big project, the annual Rite of Passage. This was the first time I organized and led my own group. I am so glad I joined the IRC. I am very happy that I chose Coastline; I wouldn’t have found out about the IRC without coming to Coastline. The events and opportunities offered to their student interns are what has made my college experience so memorable.


After the IRC, finding another internship that would be beneficial to me was so easy. I found out about my current internship, the Coastline marketing internship, after visiting the Career Center. I am a Business major with an emphasis in Marketing, which was why I wanted to intern for the Marketing Department. Interning for the Marketing Department gives me a better understanding of what my future job may look like. Not only that, I am learning a lot from all the other employees in the department as well. They are very willing to teach me how programs work as well as other useful tasks. It has been quite fun getting to know my co-workers and we do a lot of fun, team-building activities!

Although the experience looks great on a resume, this experience is more than just something I can put on paper. I choose to apply for the marketing internship because of the relevant experience. The team makes me feel very welcomed and has made my summer worth remembering.


The Marketing Department is taking interns year round and are very welcoming to all creative minds. Check it out here.

You can find out more about mentorships at the IRC by visiting the Coastline Garden Grove Campus– 12901 S Euclid St, Garden Grove, CA 92840 or by emailing Stephanie Nguyen at

To find out more about Coastline’s Work Study Program, visit the FWS website..

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