The March 2017 issue of The Pulse is the seventy-fifth issue published since the Fall of 1998. We asked former reporters and editors to let us know where they are now, their favorite Palo Alto memories, and what advice they would give to current students.
By Samantha Celeste Esparza
Pulse staff editor
Bianca Del Conte is a member solutions specialists at USAA, proud homeowner, and mother of two young girls. Her time spent writing for The Pulse helped cement the communications skills she needs in the busy, non-stop corporate world of banking. When she’s not working, she’s dedicating her time to volunteering. Her time at Palo Alto taught her that volunteering is an essential part of community development. Del Conte wrote that clubs, scholarships and volunteering are the keys to success, and she credits those three things to her long-term successes in life. She will graduate in the fall of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Math from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“Writing for The Pulse connected me to a lot of people because when you want to write a good story, you have to get good information, and the best information comes from people. I got very comfortable talking to people, which has helped me in my career at USAA in being able to collaborate with executives above me. I’d say the interviews were my favorite part, interviews and editing. Editing for The Pulse made me a better writer. I write a lot of emails in my job to keep my team engaged, and I probably edit my emails 6-7 times before I send them out because I want my message to be absorbed, not just read, just like a news story. Editing the stories of my peers at The Pulse also made me feel engaged and made me feel like I was a part of a team. We all helped each other and talked about our stories. The skill of teamwork and being able to take constructive edits and present a great story at the end are skills that have become invaluable at this stage in my career. In my job, being able to work on a team and collaborate is key. I can’t think of any position at USAA that would not require you to collaborate with other people,” Del Conte wrote.
Del Conte is a part of the Emerging Leaders Council at USAA and has committed to 24 hours of volunteering per year in Bexar County. Last year, she volunteered to help build a park off of 410 and Ingram, folded bags for the Food Bank, wrapped gifts for the Elf Louise project, and donated a gift to the San Antonio Assisted Living Center.
- Write for The Pulse. If you want to be sharp, if you want to develop your communication skills, which in turn helps you during your first interview with a big employer, do it. If you want to learn about the issues around you, do it. If you care about your community, do it.
- Take advantage of your time at Palo Alto and apply for scholarships. My entire tuition for the last three semesters I was there was paid for. I’m telling you, you will get something if you just apply.
- Join a club. It is so important to collaborate with other students and be a part of something. Not only is it great for your personal development but it looks great when you’re applying for university.
- Volunteer. For almost the same reasons as why you should join a club but also, you’re responsible for your community, so get to work!