It’s every student’s wish for an amazing internship to turn into a dream job. A mentorship is established, and you already know the ins and outs of a company you truly enjoy. For Daniel Pliego, months of hard work as an intern turned into a full-time job offer with Blue Moon Digital, a full semester before receiving his diploma.
This December Pliego will not only be graduating with an MS in Information Systems and a specialization in Business Intelligence Systems from the CU Denver Business School, he’ll already have a job with a top employer that he knows is a great fit for him.
An unexpected direction
Pliego, originally from Austin, moved to Denver because his wife was completing her psychology fellowship at the CU Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. With a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Tourism Management from Texas A&M already under his belt, Pliego had no interest in returning to school.
“I’ve always been kind of a computer nerd although I never really studied information technology in school. It wasn’t until I got involved with a hospitality technology organization that it really sparked my curiosity in pursuing that as a professional career,” said Pliego.
Two years later, he can’t imagine doing anything else.
Building a foundation
Since the beginning of his CU Denver career, Pliego was involved with a business school student organization called the Information Systems Association (ISA). The club hosts events for students to learn more about companies in the Denver tech industry, connecting Pliego and other students to IT professionals from all over the Denver metro area. Not only were these networking opportunities invaluable on their own, they also helped Pliego to showcase what he was learning in the classroom. In particular, he learned how to manipulate and transform data into actionable business information.
“These two classes were the cornerstone to receiving my internship and being offered a full-time job.” – Daniel Pliego
Two classes stuck out to Pliego during his time at CU Denver. An IT Governance and Management Class along with his Database Management Systems class “were the cornerstone to receiving my internship and being offered a full-time job,” said Pliego.
Sometimes the best opportunities arrive over coffee
Pliego was able to land his internship as a business analyst with the help of Stephanie Sindt, a career advisor from the Business Career Connections (BCC) office. Sindt introduced Pliego to the HR Director of Blue Moon Digital via email. From there, he built a relationship with the company from there. “The BCC was invaluable to me with fixing my resume and developing connections with employers,” Pliego said.
Pliego did not, however, have the typical interview experience. Instead of the more formal office meeting, he and his future director had a casual meet-up for coffee. After discussing the internship at length and Pliego’s future goals, they both agreed he would be a perfect fit for the business analyst and implementation internship.
“The BCC was invaluable to me with fixing my resume and developing connections with employers.” – Daniel Pliego
The world of data in digital marketing
In January, Pliego began his work as an analytics intern for Blue Moon Digital. Throughout his time at the company, he was responsible for executing large data sets, connecting web and on-premise applications to DOMO – a cloud-based business intelligence platform – and other data development projects.
Three months later, Pliego was offered a full-time position which he gladly accepted. “The biggest takeaway from my internship was learning how to be prepared for real-life business problems,” Pliego shared.
“The biggest takeaway from my internship was learning how to be prepared for real life business problems.” – Daniel Pliego
A tried-and-true formula
Pliego has sound advice for students following in his footsteps. “The best way to go about it is to learn how to network. Get to know the BCC. Attend the workshops, fix your resume, and understand the different ways to approach interviews.”
He sees the importance in mentorship and for this reason, he also mentors for the CU DREAMers, an organization focused on empowering students to overcome and appreciate adversity associated with being an undocumented person in the US.
Looking into the future, he intends to continue working in marketing business intelligence and analytics. Luckily, he found a perfect home to continue building his skillset and learning with dedicated professionals.
As he approaches graduation, Pliego knows that he will miss the people and connections he’s made at the Business School. “I’ve enjoyed all of my classes so far and have been able to take away lessons from each one,” Pliego shared. “I will absolutely miss being in the heart of the city.”
“I will absolutely miss being in the heart of the city.” – Daniel Pliego