Eduardo immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador in 2012. He started attending an English as a Second Language (ESL) Level 2 class at Mt. San Antonio College. He completed the ESL program and then enrolled in the Vocational ESL (VESL) program. One of the biggest challenges Eduardo faced was attending evening classes while working full time. In his own words, “It wasn’t always easy. I had to work eight- to nine-hour shifts every day while going to school. It was mentally and physically exhausting.”
After work, Eduardo rode the bus to school and back home. It was a challenging time for him, but despite the difficulties, Eduardo completed the VESL program and transitioned to credit courses in 2018. In 2020, he graduated with an associate degree in Business Management, with honors, and is currently working as a full-time administrative assistant at Williams Sonoma. He continues taking credit business classes at Mt. SAC, pursuing his second degree in Human Resources Management. He has plans to open his own business in the future.
Raul completed the EMT program with a goal of entering the Fire Technology program. He started the program in 2019, and then the pandemic hit, and he had to wait months to resume hands-on course requirements. Raul continued online with the theory portion, which was difficult because he had never taken an online class. In October 2020, Raul suffered a tragedy: the loss of his father due to COVID-19. He courageously remained in class with his professors, providing academic support and endless encouragement. Through his tragedies and challenges, Raul completed the course with all requirements satisfied, passed his state exam, and is now a state certified EMT. Raul credits the high Mt. SAC program standards and his professors for his success. He is still determined to become a firefighter and says, “I want to have a career where I am able to help as many people as I can and have a career where I will be physically active.”
Joe had been working in the telecom industry for 13 years when he decided it was time for a career change. He began to apply for different jobs, but he was not getting any call-backs from companies. That was when he realized he needed a competitive edge and needed help getting his foot in the door, so he decided to go back to school.
He wanted to be well-rounded, so he enrolled in the Advanced Manufacturing and Electrical Training program at Mt. SAC’s School of Continuing Education.
While taking the Manufacturing Processes course, Joe learned about applying Ohm’s law and reading the voltages of the current. It also helped him a lot when dealing with resistors and conductors. In addition, Joe took a career development course where he learned about job search websites, effective interview techniques, and how to customize his resume to the skills required for manufacturing and electrical job positions.
He said, “It gave me the proper vocabulary to get my foot in the door.”
Joe used the resume, cover letter, and reference list he had created in the career development course, and uploaded them to his profile on ZipRecruiter and Indeed. Since then, he has been getting interview requests daily.
Most recently, Joe had his final interview with Caltrans for a field technician and installer position. His interview committee asked him if he could start now, but he said would like to wait until he has finished the manufacturing course.
Joe said having the manufacturing and electrical systems knowledge and skills gave him the extra boost he needed to set him apart from other candidates.
“It will pay off. You just have to be patient,” he said.
Joe plans to continue taking classes at Mt. SAC in Electronic Systems Technology, but he is excited about his future and grateful for the experience he has had at Mt. SAC.