Press - 08/29/2013

My Experience Transferring From MiraCosta To A Four-Year University

My name is Jordan.  I am a MiraCosta Alumnus and I wanted to share my experience of going to MiraCosta, transferring to a four-year college, and eventually finding a career.  During my time at MiraCosta I met many students who struggled to transfer to a four-year university on time and I thought this post might be helpful to international students trying to study at MiraCosta.
I started at MiraCosta when I moved to Oceanside with my friends for the great weather and surf after high school.  I didn’t have a clear plan for succeeding in college and I didn’t have much direction. I tried a number of different classes but I didn’t know what to major in. Like many students I wasted a lot of time. I finally made up my mind and just focused on the basic general education requirements.  Somehow I got a General Studies Associate degree in two years but I didn’t have a focus or an idea of what I would do with my new degree.
Not knowing what to do with my new degree, I started traveling to different countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. I ended up settling down for a while in Egypt to study Arabic. I loved studying abroad in Egypt and I enjoyed the experience of meeting interesting people from cultures foreign to my own. The hospitality and the humor of the Egyptian people made me fall in love with the country. In fact, I enjoyed my time there so much I ended up studying Arabic there for 4 years until I nearly ran out of money and had to return to California. 
When I came back to the states I knew I had to get serious, finish my studies and start my career. I needed to transfer to a four-year university, but most majors at the schools I could afford were impacted. Impacted degree programs require additional course work to be accepted into the program. I quickly realized that I needed to go back to MiraCosta and take all the classes that were required to transfer into a business program at a California State University.  Despite having completed 60 units already I had to finish another 39 units of courses to transfer. This time I knew I needed a plan if I was going to be able to transfer quickly to another university. I met regularly with a student counselor and took only the required classes for business. With a lot of work and help from my instructors I was able to complete all 39 units in two semesters.
Upon completion of the additional required units I was accepted into the California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) business program. Before I even started at CSUSM I realized that I needed a clear graduation plan at CSUSM as well. As with MiraCosta, the counselors there helped me put a step-by-step success plan together. Each semester I had to work hard to make sure I picked the right classes and that I registered early enough to get a place in the classes that were in the highest demand. 
At the same time I left MiraCosta for CSUSM I started an internship at a local marketing agency.  This was probably one of the most valuable experiences for me. I gained useful work experience before graduating and I was able to apply many of the things I learned in MiraCosta business classes to my job. As I continued my studies I was able to connect the concepts I learned with the tasks I was involved with at work. For those that are interested, many of these kinds of internships are available to international students as well as Americans.
Finally, after two more years of diligence I was able to graduate with a degree in Business Administration.  My internship turned into a full time job and within months of graduating from CSUSM I was recruited by another company to an even better job position.  Now, a few years after graduation, I have started my own company, IstiZada, using both my Arabic language skills I learned abroad and my business experience. The company provides online marketing services to clients looking to expand their online presence into the Middle East.

Despite it taking longer than I had originally planned to get my four-year degree I am thankful for the additional insight I gained during this time.  I do, however, recommend that other students work with a counselor to have a clear plan from the beginning to avoid wasting time.  If for some reason things don’t go as planned though its important to adapt your plan and keep pressing on.  I wish you all the best with your studies at MiraCosta and beyond.

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