Programmer Lands Software Engineering Job at San Francisco Startup After Completing Certificate


- Jayakumar Gunasekaran

Term : October, 2014
Department : Engineering
Program : Internet Programming & Dev

Jayakumar Gunasekaran had worked as a solutions quality analyst in India for five years when he realized it was time for a change. He’d been following trends in Web application development and wanted to gain work experience in the United States, so when his friend suggested he explore the Internet Programming and Development certificate program at UCSC Extension, Gunasekaran took the leap. He enrolled as an international student, registered for a full class load, and found an internship at a San Francisco startup. Within nine months, he had completed the certificate and been offered a full-time job as a software engineer.

What were your main learning goals?

I had been working a quality analyst role in India, and I wanted to move into a Web developer role, and these courses helped me transition smoothly. I wanted to learn technical programming skills. I’m using Python and JavaScript in my current job.

What were some of the benefits of taking courses at UCSC Extension?

The courses are designed for people of different levels of experience—which is great if you’re coming from a different domain. There is also the freedom of choosing courses outside your track. I was enrolled in Internet Programming but I wanted to explore mobile application development. Most of the instructors are working professionals who bring in a lot of their professional experience to add to the course content. They provided a lot of statistics about Android application development changes, including market share, etc. They update their courses every year, sometimes even every quarter. This program has a good future.

How did your internship help you in your studies?

The unpaid internship was really helpful; it helped me gain experience in Silicon Valley and get a job with my desired role when I was on OPT. I also appreciated that Extension asked for intern and company evaluations after every quarter; it’s good for us to understand if we are choosing the right courses for our career needs. Without that we might not think to ask for feedback, and since the course asked me to check in with my company, I was able to judge my performance.

What was your experience like as an international student?

Being a student at UCSC Extension was really awesome. I give special thanks to the International Student Advisor for answering all my questions before I came here and once I arrived. She helped me with my OPT application and made our job really easy. Thanks to her, my transition to a new job was really smooth.

Visit our Internet Programming and Development page to learn more UCSC Extension’s unique offerings. For information on services and programs for international students, please visit our International Programs page.

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