Oscar Guajardo #ProjectTransfer

oscar guajardo photo
SSU, Ball State

Position: Student Outreach Coordinator, CTE

A.A. and A.S. from Santa Rosa Junior College

B.A. in Communications Studies from Sonoma State University

M.A. in Career & Technical Education from Ball State University (in progress)

1. How did you decide to attend your college/university?

Originally I wanted to pursue a career in Architecture or Engineering, but I decided that in order to complete the STEM classes I needed to transfer, it would take me too long. So, I made use of the JC’s Career Center and took a few career aptitude tests; then, I researched the careers I was suited for. Filmmaking was one of those careers matching my skills and interests but I thought it was a very narrow field. Communications Studies was a broader field that included filmmaking. I decided to go to Sonoma State University because they have a very good communications program.

2. How did you afford college/university?

At the time, I was working full time as a chef and making so-so money. Therefore, I did not qualify for financial aid. I had to get some loans and I paid for my studies out of pocket. I don’t regret it because I saw it as an investment.

3. What was unique about the college/university you attended?

Sonoma State University is fine college. It was close to where I live and received a lot of support from my advisor and some of my instructors.

4. Did you have any experiences transferring?

At the beginning I did not have any experience; I took a couple of meetings for me to understand the “CSU General Education-Breadth Requirements and Associate Degree” form. Once I understood it, I planned my transfer requirements for SSU myself. However, I would not suggest anyone do what I did.

5. What kinds of jobs did you get after graduation?

I am Bilingual/Bicultural which is very helpful for any career in California. After college, I started working in Human Services and different non-profit organizations serving the needs of children, families, women and underserved youth either as a counselor or an advisor. I have worked as a Community Liaison, educating and advocating for Latino/Hispanic children and parents; as a Bilingual Community Liaison and Crisis Line Counselor for United Against Sexual Assault (UASA); and, with juveniles on probation with gang affiliations and who also struggle with mental health issues. I have also worked in numerous CTE-related jobs which have given me a special insight on the job that I have right now: cooking, training, filmmaking, radio, public speaking, graphic design, web design, PR, marketing, and translating.

6. How did you discover your current position?

I discovered my current position searching for jobs online. I thought it suited my skills, experience, and interests.

7. What do you love about your field?

My job consists of educating and advising students, parents and the community about Career & Technical Education (CTE). I really love my job because I am trying new things for the program in outreach, promotion, and marketing. I am also volunteering my time to help those students who are underrepresented, or sometimes forgotten”, by the educational system. I am passionate because I believe that CTE can be a stepping stone to a great career and great education.

8. Do you have any tips for transfer-bound students?

Yes, here are a few:

  • Take an aptitude test to find you skills and interests; this way you can narrow your careers choices.
  • Make a plan and stick to it.
  • Consult with your counselors.
  • University education is beneficial but in order to be successful in today’s economy and to be competitive employers need you to have: Technical Skill, Hand-On Experience, and Practical Experience. Therefore, I would suggest you take a look at completing a CTE program or taking CTE classes - statistics show that university graduates go back to get retrain in CTE after they graduate anyway.