Desire to help others drives future HR professional

  • May 15, 2024
  • David Leder

As the oldest of five siblings, Rodrigo Castaneda-Marin has always felt like it was his responsibility to help others.

That instinct has stuck with him throughout his time at Central. Now, the junior human resources management major is hoping that his caring mentality will lead to a successful career.

“I have that older brother trait where I’m always looking to help others,” said Castaneda-Marin, a first-generation college student from Wenatchee. “It’s really satisfying when I can help people, and I kind of see myself as a role model in that sense — someone people can look up to.”

Castaneda-Marin is already on the fast track to fulfilling his career goals, working 16 hours a week in CWU’s Human Resources department as a member of the hiring team. He assists with recruiting, posting jobs on LinkedIn, and general office work — whatever the team needs.

CWU junior Rodrigo Castaneda-Marin

“I want to learn everything there is to know about HR, and this job has given me a good view of how everything works,” he said.

The next step for Castaneda-Marin will be to find a summer internship. He explained that he enjoys setting goals for himself, often a year out.

“This year, my goal was to find an internship so I can get some experience,” he said. “Then, hopefully, I can have a job lined up by the time I graduate. I don’t want to wait until after I graduate to get my foot in the door.”

After three years living and working in Ellensburg, Castaneda-Marin is convinced he made the right decision by coming to Central. He had considered going to Wenatchee Valley College to be closer to home, but he was determined to earn a four-year degree so he could set himself up for the future.

“I definitely feel like I made the right choice,” he said. “The College of Business has a lot of people who I can ask for guidance, and there are tons of resources whenever I need them.”

Castaneda-Marin thanked former College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) recruiter Juan Maravilla for opening his eyes to what is possible for students like him.

“Juan coming to my high school is what made me choose Central,” Castaneda-Marin said. “He talked about how CAMP could help first-gen students like us, and that made me feel at ease. I didn’t know much about Central, but I’m really glad I chose to come here. I feel proud of how far I’ve come.”


This story appears in the latest edition of Voyage Magazine. The annual College of Business publication came out in April 2024.

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David Leder

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