By Stephanie Stevens
[4 minute read]
We've finally put 2020 behind us! Time to refresh and start something new in 2021. To encourage our students (past and present) to take the next step, we offered three free class vouchers to new and current students by telling us about their Extension story. Thank you for your inspiring submissions -- we love hearing about how spending time as a UC San Diego Extension student changed lives for the better.
It was tough to choose from so many great stories, but our congratulations go out to:
Magdalena Esparza @magdance of Houston, TX, submitted this inspired entry on Instagram: "I am a biochemist and illustrator born in Chile. Two years ago. I decided to open my creative space, Monkey Way Studio. I was constantly searching for the best way to interpret the ideas I have about the world we live in. My drive has always been to motivate everybody to be creative because I believe that creativity is a habit. This year, I decided to enhance my resume and focus on my children's book illustration pathway. I'm so happy I chose UC San Diego Extension to achieve this next step in my life."
Jose J. Lopez @jesus.jose88 of Lemon Grove, CA, who shared this insight on Instagram: "I just registered for my first two Digital Marketing program classes! I have worked so hard to become a photographer and a videographer, but I lacked the skills needed to market all of the media I was creating. I plan to learn as much as I can and connect with my UCSD Extension professors. It's exciting to know that they, too, are working professionals in my field of study!"
Amir Al-Qadaffi @HoodyXX of San Diego, CA/Richmond, VA, offered us this relatable entry: "Returning to school in my late 30s was a daunting and scary proposition, especially amidst the pandemic. It was comforting to know that I was not alone in my journey to continue my education, and in fact, many of the students were my age and in similar places in their lives. With the encouragement of my classmates, guidance from my instructor and hard work, I ended the six-week course with an A! I now have the confidence to fully step into my new life as a student and to continue my Project Management Professional certification process."
Thank you to everyone for the responses. We are proud of your achievements, and we are excited to celebrate your success as you make your way through your learning journeys.
Here are a few other selections from those who were brave enough to share their stories:
Leanne Lieu offers, "My beginning as a UCSD Extension student began in the pandemic when Extension administrators gave me the opportunity to take the initial course in the Teaching Online certificate for free. Extension's initial investment in me motivated me to officially apply for the certificate and I aim to complete it by summer 2021."
Arya Natarajan, Science Communication certificate student, offers her Extension story: "As an undergraduate at UC San Diego, I learned so much about biology and its applications in everyday life, but I found myself itching to practice my writing skills and become a better science communicator. Thanks to the skills I learned through UCSD Extension, I began an internship that led me to my current part-time position as a digital engagement specialist, where I get to combine my love for biology with my passion for storytelling in new, exciting ways.
Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices certificate student, Prateek Tripathi, had this to say: "The experience with UCSD Extension is merely extraordinary. The mentors/instructors, class colleagues and even the support staff were excellent. Upon completion, I felt more confident, knowledgeable, and more vital in the team (my current role). I can be a part of the conversation and plan proactively. Furthermore, the cherry on top is the connections built across the spectrum, which helps when a challenge arises, or I need advice."
Copyediting certificate student, Alicia Aldridge, shares: "It's insane to me now that at eighteen years old, we're expected to choose one focus to get us through college and the rest of our lives. Turns out, changing your mind isn't such a bad thing. I am so much happier working toward something that will help my resume and my career. I will finish my certificate in March, and the feeling is bittersweet. I'm anxious to complete a goal of mine without context for what will happen next, but I'm also so excited to see what the future holds."
Want to share your story? We invite you to submit your Extension story through our testimonial submission page. Tell us about your new job, latest promotion, art project, career change or life lessons for a chance to be featured in our blog or social pages.