Monica Illes

Career Development and Alumni Relations Program Manager

Hometown: Buellton, CA

Role at Bren: Monica manages Bren’s career document review services, produces career and alumni communications materials, and designs and creates career resources content for BrenConnect, Bren’s online community platform for students and alumni to network and access career resources. Her role includes providing resume, cover letter, and CV advising to students and alumni; coordinating document review logistics; and co-leading career writing-related workshops for MESM and PhD students.

Professional Background: Monica has been on the Bren career team for 4+ years, having started at the Bren School in February 2015. Her previous experience includes work in student services, writing, and communications as a writing tutor at UCSB’s Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) and as a writing intern in UCSB’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications. Monica also developed program coordination experience through roles leading art and journalism at a summer day camp. With an educational background in English and professional writing, Monica brings skills in composition, editing, business and marketing writing, and graphic design to her advising and communications work at Bren.

Education: BA in English with a minor in professional writing (multimedia communication emphasis) from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Favorite Aspect of Bren/Why You Work At Bren: It’s rewarding to assist Bren students and alumni in their career journeys—whether helping design their resume to market their background for the positions they want or creating BrenConnect career resources to empower them with tools for their job/internship searches. I especially love when I can facilitate those “aha” moments that make them feel informed, prepared, and confident.

It’s also inspiring to see Bren’s tight-knit, highly motivated community support each other and give back—alumni share job/internship postings with us, email us with information or career tips from their personal experiences to help us help current students, and are amazingly willing to chat with students about their careers over the phone or coffee.

Personal Interests: I enjoy running (especially in the summer evening air, with the feel of a late autumn storm brewing, or when the hills are green or freshly golden), participating in local 5ks and other races, and spending quality time with family and friends. A native of Santa Barbara County, I love being close to both the Pacific Ocean and rural country hill/mountain views. Some of my favorite pastimes include making greeting cards and place cards as well as learning (and/or appreciating!) recipes old and new—from dishes with inventive swaps like zucchini noodles to traditional meals and desserts from my family’s Danish and Hungarian heritage.

Contact:

Office: Bren Hall 2524
Phone: 805-893-2928
E-mail
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Mailing Address:

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
Bren Hall 2524
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131