How a 1st Generation Student Can Get the Help They Need

The Marketing Journey Logo: A bullseye with an arrow through the center

The Marketing Journey: Where the Results are Success

Created by: Ayla Bliss, Ishani Chudasama, and Matthew Olund

The Marketing Journey: A weekly blog update from IMC (Winter 2023)


WWU Marketing Student Monica Luevanos

Who is Monica Luevanos?

Monica Luevanos is a current student here at Western Washington University. She is a part of the Marketing Program and is projected to graduate this year in 2023. Monica was kind enough to give us some time and chat with us regarding her experience as a first generation student.


Chatting with Monica 

Monica, what drew you to the marketing program?

Mostly just wanting to major in Marketing. I was really interested in that realm because my family has a business so I thought I would be pretty good at it. 

As a first generation student, how was your overall experience?

It was hard, I didn’t really know what I was doing, where I was going, or where I would end up. My parents didn’t go to college or graduate high school, and my brother didn’t go to college because he went to the Navy. So I didn’t really have any help or support behind me rather than them being 20 minutes away. 

As your journey comes to an end, what would you say was the most memorable part?

I believe the most memorable part was networking and meeting so many people with similar interests. As well as being able to suffer through some difficult classes together.

Speaking of new people, have you met others who share a similar story?

Kind of, but in the same sense, not really.

 I felt like a lot of people had more of a support system than I did. So it was hard moving throughout those challenges and trying to figure out where I could get help. I had to motivate myself to do better. I really focused on using my friends as a support system because they were also majoring in Marketing. I was able to bond with them through that and it really helped me out throughout my journey.

Did you utilize any resources provided by WWU during your experience here? If so, which ones were helpful?

I used talking to my advisor Ed Love - Thank you so much for helping me. What he helped guide me through was networking, he invited me to the Alumni networking event which taught you how to upgrade your resume as well as create cover letters and elevator pitches. I never really got exposed to that type of information so I felt like that really helped.

Were there any other resources that you used besides your advisor?

Unfortunately, I felt like getting any resources or help was kind of hard. I didn’t really know where to look or if there were any. Now I kind of know about some things like what Ed told me, as well as SMA. However, as my journey comes to an end, I feel like they are not of much help with where I am. 

What would you recommend for others in a similar position?

Just believe in yourself, you don’t owe anyone anything, you can go out and do what you want. If your classes don’t really feel like they apply to you, know that you can go ahead and get started on your own life and journey. You don’t have to wait to get that college degree, you can just get started.

Thank you Monica, is it alright if people connect with you on LinkedIn?

Of course! - Monica Luevanos 

Trials and Tribulations

Like any good plot in a story, Monica’s journey hasn’t been the easiest to navigate. One issue she brought up was that it was hard to find resources and utilize them to benefit her own journey. There are multitudes of resources that Monica and marketing students can access, but the issue is that it is hard to get any information about them. We are going to provide further information on some resources for students to access.

Using your Advisors to your Advantage

Monica mentions one solid resource that has helped her journey was Ed Love. Ed Love is the Department Chair and is a Professor for the Marketing Department. He has an MBA in Finance and Management Information Systems. Ed has been guiding students at Western since 2008, which makes him very qualified and an excellent resource.

Ed is not the only person skilled in helping you throughout your academic career. Your Marketing Professors and Advisor have the resources that you may have never known you needed. Feel free to schedule an appointment with them because they want to help you succeed. They also have walk-in hours where you can quickly stop by and ask questions. They are a great resource to use during your time as a Marketing student.

Additional Student Resources 


Front desk of the Student Ethnic Center in Viking Union

WWU Multicultural Student Services

A great resource to use, whether you are a first generation, or not are the WWU Multicultural Student Services. It is currently located above the Viking Union and offers a great community for students looking for one. The MSS is currently providing support for the Ethnic Student Center, the Blue Resource Center, and Black Student Coalition. The MSS is planning on expanding their reach with more centers such as the Latine/x cultural center, the AsianAmerican & Pacific Islander cultural center, and a social justice resource center.

The Ethnic Student Center goal is “to help students affirm their identity, build a sense of community, and cultivate leadership.” Anyone can join the multitude of clubs and events that are provided by ESC. An ESC event is the Night Market, where clubs can sell food, merchandise, and performances to promote their club and culture to the Bellingham community. Overall, the ESC provides an enriching and safe community for all types of students.

Marketing Relief Fund

The Marketing Relief Fund is here to help students that don’t have access to money to support their goals for a degree. This fund is especially for students within the Marketing major or pre-major. This fund provides scholarships, food access, emergency funds, etc. The marketing department is always willing to help you along in your journey.