Student Stories

mahesh-pokharel
Mahesh Pokharel, Alumnus
Nepalese Procurement Specialist Discovers Project...
Before he moved to California, Mahesh Pokharel worked as a procurement specialist at a United Nations development program called Local Governance and Community Development Program for almost five years in his native Nepal. He worked for more than 10 years for The World Bank and Asian Development...
elisa-ordona
Elisa Ordona
Arts Administrator Discovers Passion for Personal...
During her years as an arts administrator for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Elisa Ordona learned a thing or two about finance and development. Though she believed in the arts, Ordona discovered that her passion for finance was on the personal level; instead of supporting nonprofit...
olga nieves
Olga Nieves
HR Professional Masters the Humanitarian Approach to...
Olga Nieves wanted to find a way to refresh her business skills while preserving her humanitarian approach to staff development and training. She enrolled in UCSC Extension’s Human Resource Management certificate program in fall 2012 with the intention of completing the entire...
bhavna-dixit
Bhavna Dixit
Molecular Biologist Discovers Pathway to Silicon...
Bhavna Dixit worked as a biotechnology research scholar in India before moving to California in 2015. Armed with a master’s degree in biotechnology and work experience abroad, she started researching programs that could prepare her to work in the Bay Area. She enrolled in UCSC Extension...
niki theil
Niki Theil
Financial Planner Expands Her Professional Network...
Niki Theil had worked in corporate finance for eight years before quitting to raise her children. While her children were young, Theil focused her mathematical talents on fine-tuning their household spending, an exercise that proved useful, not only for her family, but ultimately in helping her...
shyla-jain
Shyla Jain
Marketing Student Lands Silicon Valley Job After...
When Shyla Jain started looking for professional certification programs in the Bay Area, she had a big goal in mind: to gain the skills and experience she’d need to land her first job in Silicon Valley. Before she moved from India to the United States, she had worked in business and...
patrice-mcElligott
Patrice McElligott
Educator Discovers Skill For Her Practice in...
As an educator with 20 years of experience as a teacher, tutor and coach, Patrice McElligott advocates for her students’ needs, regardless of the environment. After obtaining her Clear Multiple Subject and Special Education credentials, she completed a master’s in special education,...
isabel barrios
Isabel Barrios, Project and Program Management, Alumna
Seasoned Engineer Develops Silicon Valley Project...
Isabel Barrios is accustomed to standing out in her field. As the only woman in her graduate electrical engineering program at the University of Guadalajara, she discovered her passion for technology at an early age. She left Mexico to pursue her career in the United States, where she worked for...
tatiana-boytsova
Tatiana Boytsova
Russian Teacher Discovers Universal TESOL Skills
When Tatiana Boytsova completed her degree in linguistics and philology in Russia, she ignited a passion for learning, language acquisition, and teaching. She explored her love for English while living in Australia, and by the time she moved to California she decided to study how to teach English...
priya raman
Priya Raman, Human Resources Management Alumna
HR Generalist Developed Key Leadership Skills in...
By the end of her one-day “Human Resource Management, Introduction” course, Priya Raman had decided that she wanted to be a corporate trainer. Though she had worked in HR in India before relocating to California, Raman wanted to gain a strong understanding of American workforce...
nabeha-khan
Nabeha Khan
MBA Transitions into Organizational Strategist Role...
When Nabeha Khan moved to the U.S. from Pakistan, she had already completed a master’s in business administration and was busy raising young children. Hungry for work opportunities in Silicon Valley, she discovered UCSC Extension’s Human Resource Management program. After completing a...
dana torres
Dana Torres
Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator Discovers...
When Dana Torres started taking Environmental Health and Safety courses at UCSC Extension, she was surprised and excited to learn skills that she could take back to work the very next day. “Whenever I took a class, something would pop up at work that directly correlated,” she says...
mark-chang
Mark Chang
Finance Professional Masters Data Crunching Skills at...
When Mark Chang first noticed UCSC Extension’s brochure for Database and Data Analytics, he said it was “love at first sight.” He had recently completed his master’s in finance and was looking for a way to stand out in a competitive field. He saw database administration...
angela-alcantara-cruz
Angela Alcantara-Cruz
Semiconductor Veteran Shifts into Career in Early...
Angela Alcantara-Cruz is an early childhood educator with a unique backstory. After graduating from UCSC with a degree in sociology, she earned a master’s in organizational development and led a successful 20-year career in business operations in the semiconductor industry. She felt her...
shelley-odell
Shelley Odell, HAZWOPER Alumna
Environmental Health and Safety Manager Stays Up-to-...
When Shelley Odell graduated from college, she realized that she had developed a strong scientific foundation, but like many recent grads, she wasn’t sure how to apply this knowledge to her job. Shortly after landing her first position, her employer referred her to UCSC Extension’s...

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