From foster child to legal advocate

LegalCustody

Marie Walker will tell you straight up that nothing in her life was handed to her or made easy. She grew up in foster care, often adrift in the legal system.

But her upbringing provided more than hardship, it is also what inspired her to pursue a career in the law.

As a recent UC San Diego Extension Paralegal Certificate graduate, Walker first became interested in a legal career because of the work of Nancy Lord, who served as her court appointed special advocate. It was Lord who finally gave Walker a voice about her care and her life. It also motivated Walker to get the skills she needed to help other children navigate the complex and daunting court system.

MarieWalkerInset.jpgWalker started out as a receptionist for a law firm but she knew if she ever wanted to move beyond answering phones and filling papers, she’d need a paralegal degree. Still, that was easier said than done as Walker, a single mother, didn’t have the financial wherewithal to pay for her education.

Julia Dunlap, Esq., director for legal education at Extension, immediately felt compelled to help Walker through a scholarship opportunity. Once learning her full story, Dunlap realized that Walker had the determination and the professional experience to excel in the program.

“Marie is an inspiration and a shining example of how you can rise above adversity and then have the fortitude to turn around and work to pull others up with you,” Dunlap said. “I know she will continue to excel in all her educational and professional pursuits and the judicial system will benefit from her presence.”

Following completion of UC San Diego Extension’s ABA-approved paralegal certificate program in 2014, Walker earned a spot on the other side of courtroom, where she proudly works in criminal law as a legal assistant for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Since then, Walker has gone on to earn certification from the National Association of Legal Assistants. She says the Extension program provided her with the opportunity to not only learn the law but also to understand her true worth so she had the experience and confidence to negotiate a new position and a better salary.

“The best part of the program is that everything is seriously laid out for you and is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and power to become successful in your own career,” Walker said. “Instructors like Kate Wilkins showed me that I was smarter than I thought I was and kept pushing me to become empowered to make choices and do what I love by creating my own path.”

She continues to heed that advice and has even trained at the National Advocacy Center, where she enrolled in an intensive legal writing and research course and earned 40 mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) hours. Additionally, she has started work as a court advocate for Voices of Children of San Diego, helping to provide judicial support to other foster children.

If she could offer any advice for prospective students, Walker said, “When they tell you to network and put yourself out there – do it and you’ll not only stand out, but you might just enjoy yourself a little more. I know I’ve had fun in the process.”

As for her future, she isn’t done climbing the legal ladder just yet.

Walker has been accepted to Penn State’s online program to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society, which accepted a large majority of credit hours that she gained from Extension’s paralegal certificate program. Walker says that she only has to finish 10 courses in order to receive her bachelor’s.

Her next step includes attending law school at City University of New York, CUNY. The program at CUNY is one of the few in the country that is specifically geared toward training attorneys who are dedicated to the public interest. According to its site, such efforts aim to “right the wrongs, stand up for the underserved and fight for social justice.”

And that’s all that Walker has ever wanted to do.

For more information on UC San Diego Extension and its ABA-approved paralegal program offering accelerated and full or part-time options, visit paralegal.ucsd.edu. To learn more, email unexlaw@ucsd.edu or (858) 534-8152. We also invite you to connect with alumni, instructors and students via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

 

The making of a UC San Diego Extension certificate program (infographic)

There’s a point in every person’s career when they realize they want to changes jobs or move up the organizational ladder, but maybe they’re not quite sure how to make it happen. Should it involve going back to school full time? Will it require a degree? And how can it be done without having to spend (or go into debt for) tens of thousands of dollars?

Enter UC San Diego Extension’s certificate programs. Every program offers students an opportunity to examine a new field and demonstrate to others they have the discipline to work toward a specific goal while increasing their earning potential and marketability.

The completion of a certificate program provides:

  • Documentation of specific, formal study at a highly-regarded academic institution
  • Career-oriented, post-graduate training to complement a college or university degree
  • Well-developed job skills and knowledge for your current job, a promotion, or career change

Why a UC San Diego Extension Certificate?

A UC San Diego Extension certificate is a widely-respected academic credential certifying completion of a rigorous and specialized course of study that’s recognized and valued by employers. Designed by industry experts and academic faculty, our cutting-edge programs meet high academic standards and provide real-world skills.

Here’s how to we take an idea and develop it into a high-quality, high-value certificate program:

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We offer two types of certificate programs: Professional and Specialized. Professional programs consist of a minimum of 20 units of approved continuing education credit (200 classroom instruction hours). Specialized programs consist of a minimum of 9 units of approved continuing education credit (90 classroom instruction hours).

Curious about what we have to offer? Take a look at our list of programs to see if there’s a one that’s right for you.

Four Steps to Earn Your Certificate

  1. Review the Certificate Course Matrix (i.e. class schedule) and apply for the certificate program of your choice (click the Apply Now button on the specific certificate page you are interested in). Make sure to fill it out completely!
  2. Receive your program approval via email and enroll in course(s) listed on the Certificate Course Matrix.
  3. Complete all required courses and your chosen electives with a grade of C- or better, within five years.
  4. Submit your Notice of Completion online, or by mail to the address specified above.

Have questions about our programs? Feel free to search our website or contact Student Services with your questions. We are happy to help you!

Betsy Freeman: The path to litigation paralegal at Google

Betsy Freeman, a graduate of the UC San Diego Extension part-time paralegal certificate program and current litigation paralegal at Google, gives a first-person account of her journey.

Born to an engineer-minded father, my initial career path was to become a chemical engineer.

I later announced my declared major was Political Science – and so began the parental discussion about “profitable” skills. It was this debate that led me to reorganize my career goals to enter law, a journey that eventually gained employment with one of the most successful corporations in the world, Google.


When I began to evaluate opportunities, I realized that I wanted to find a way to balance a combination of my interests and strengths with a valuable skillset that would position me to pursue quality work.

After taking legal courses as part of my political science degree with UC San Diego, I decided that law was best. I looked for entry level employment and started at a specialty firm engaged exclusively in immigration law. I did not have experience and I knew I had to start somewhere and worked as a part-time file clerk.

In just a few short weeks, I was hooked and wanted to learn more about the legal profession. I applied to the American Bar Association approved UC San Diego Extension part-time paralegal certificate program. It was this opportunity that opened up my eyes to the entire world of law and where I gained insight into its various areas of opportunity.

The program taught processes that I was not able to learn at my entry level position. The practical instruction format was different from theoretical political science courses and I quickly realized how beneficial “real-world” skills would be for future jobs.

Through an internship connection provided by Extension, I was able to work at the district attorney’s office in its Lifer Unit. I was able to see criminal law in action, which to someone who grew up watching “Law & Order,” was amazing.

I felt confident that I had gained the “profitable” and “practical” skills that my father warned me about. The paralegal program gave me the balance I desired and connected me to phenomenal opportunities necessary for a successful career in law.

Betsy Freeman paralegal litigator googleAs I approached the completion of my bachelor’s degree and paralegal certificate, I applied to several jobs and landed my first one with Qualcomm as legal support for its litigation department. Throughout nearly four years of employment with Qualcomm, I learned e-Discovery tools, procedures and industry standards.

In order to further connect to litigation technologies and the future of law, I reached out to Google and was soon hired as a litigation paralegal. During this exciting time, Google had started innovations to set up an in-house Discovery machine, the same time its technical product development experienced major growth.

Working at Google is a blast. I have learned a lot, including how to independently manage various cases while improving investigative and organizational paralegal skills. My advice for others seeking success is to look at more than what you do daily and instead, learn how the entire system works around you and try to discover better ways to improve them.

Betsy Freeman | Litigation Paralegal, Google | betsyfreeman@google.com

San Diego and its education opportunities ranked top among veterans

Captain Lee Jones embraces his three week old daughter, Skylar, prior to embarking on an eight month deployment to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Marine Corps. Jones, now stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, will soon transition into non-military life and is a recent applicant of UC San Diego Extension and its project management certificate offered in conjunction with the online master’s option through the University of Wisconsin.

Captain Lee Jones embraces his three-week-old daughter, Skylar, prior to embarking on an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Marine Corps. Jones, now stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, will soon transition into non-military life. He is a recent applicant of UC San Diego Extension and its project-management certificate, offered in conjunction with the online master’s option through the University of Wisconsin.

The hardships military service members and their families endure throughout their careers are among the many reasons citizens unite each year to honor them during Veterans Day. For the other 364 days of the year, a few cities work compassionately to provide a better quality of life for residing veterans, and dedicate services and opportunities to help improve transitions following service.

Hosting the most military bases throughout the country, it’s no wonder that California is home to some of the highest-ranked cities for veterans.

According to the recent report released by WalletHub, San Diego took the top-ranking spot as the most livable city in the perspective-environment, educational-opportunities and health-care categories for veterans. Bordering Chula Vista also ranked high at 12th overall, and was within the top 10 for education and top five for highest veteran income growth.

Although some areas throughout the Southwest have experienced substantial benefit offerings for service members, nationwide, WalletHub contributor Richie Bernardo reports they still remain in short supply. As of October 2015, of the 21.1 million military veterans residing in the U.S., about 422,000 are currently unemployed, with a large majority suffering from disabilities as a result of active-duty service.

In a 2013 report featured as part of a study conducted by PBS to promote its program, “Stories of Service,” it was revealed that nearly 60 percent of veterans who retired in 2012 due to service-connected disability were 35 or younger.

Younger veterans have substantially different needs than their older comrades and are in more need of education and employment opportunities to help them reach goals set for the next phase of their lives.

As detailed in WalletHub’s report, there are several factors that contribute to a better quality of life for veterans.  In an effort to reduce the alarming unemployment rates, education remains one of the most important factors to further develop military skills and meet the latest career trends.

Contributing to this need, UC San Diego Extension offers a variety of veteran benefits.  This includes the California Veteran College Tuition Fee Waiver and the following benefit programs:

  • Chapter 30 – Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
  • Chapter 31 – Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E)
  • Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill
  • Chapter 35 – Dependent Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Chapter 1606 – Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR)

In addition, UC San Diego Extension accepts Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MYCAA). Due to constant relocations and challenges associated with “single parenting” during deployments, it’s often difficult for spouses of active-duty service members to secure long-term employment while their partner serves. The program affords military spouses $4,000 in financial assistance to complete various certificate programs designed to assist with skill development for career placement.

For additional resources for veterans and service members offered at UC San Diego Extension, visit extension.ucsd.edu/veterans or e-mail at unex-veterans@ucsd.edu.

Technology sparks e-discovery revolution throughout legal profession

Justine Phillips is a legal pioneer using technology to evolve the profession and its paper-filled world.

46603629_mAs special counsel in the Labor and Employment Practice Group of Sheppard Mullin at its Del Mar office, Phillips went the paperless route back in 2008 — light years before many of her colleagues — by storing all her case filings electronically.

“It’s been coming. You can’t close your eyes anymore,” she said. “There’s a red flag being waved all over and federal rules are changing. If you don’t have someone in your firm with the right tech skills, you won’t be able to work specific cases.”

The State Bar of California recently upped the ante with Formal Opinion No. 2015-1936, stating that a lack of technical knowledge could render an attorney “ethically incompetent to handle certain litigation matters involving e-discovery, absent curative assistance under rule 3-110(C), even where the attorney may otherwise be highly experienced. It also may result in violations of the duty of confidentiality, notwithstanding a lack of bad-faith conduct.”

Law firms that don’t get up-to-speed on newer processes will simply be out of the game.

The high stakes associated with discovery in litigation have sparked new motivation for firms to seek out professionals who can help them meet these new requirements with matched technical skill sets. From small to large firms and corporations, there is increased need for multifaceted professionals to help lower overall cost by providing such services, which in turn helps them remain competitively attractive to clients.

E-discovery knowledge brings opportunity

While e-discovery is becoming more common, many law schools are not fully preparing students. A recent report by Kroll Ontrack, a legal data management consulting firm, found that of 193 law schools surveyed, 124 did not offer specific e-discovery curricula, bringing additional need for litigation technology courses for job-seeking professionals.

“Adding a litigation technology certification to a law degree or paralegal certification makes candidates dangerously competitive,” said Scott Robinson, senior solutions consultant of Inventus, a consulting practice focused on helping clients effectively manage the legal discovery process. “This is what is necessary to move any legal career to the next level. Professionals need to gain more than just a general understanding of technical legal processes.”

Phillips says she doesn’t see many legal professionals fully committed to learning technical ways to manage discovery and believes this current way of thinking could lead to major repercussions for their careers.

“It’s necessary to empower your career and make yourself indispensable with billable skills that help remove administrative burdens and allow for more time to perform analytical tasks. The only way to do this is to embrace technology,” said Phillips.

Must-have litigation technology skills

To prepare those in the legal community — from attorneys and paralegals to Information Technology professionals — UC San Diego Extension has developed its Litigation Management Technology certificate. Julia Dunlap, Esq., director of legal education at Extension, says the certificate is offered as part of the legal portfolio and provides an additional and separate learning opportunity from its American Bar Association approved Paralegal certification program.

Christi McGowan, an advisor and instructor at Extension, as well as the litigation support manager at Bienert, Miller and Katman, helped develop the new certificate to address the technological skills gap throughout the legal profession. According to McGowan, too few in the legal profession know how to effectively deal with the increased automation of legal processes, huge volumes of electronic data and growth of large-scale complex litigation.

The six-course certificate features experts in both the legal and technology fields to provide both practical and interactive approaches in such topics as:

  • Electronically stored information
  • Electronic discovery reference model
  • Litigation readiness
  • Project management as related to legal representation
  • Current legal software used in managing databases
  • Technology use for streamlined and persuasive trial presentations

McGowan says a key component of the new certificate is its hands-on approach – something she believes is critical when it comes to learning new technologies. Such interaction is also something in short supply throughout legal education opportunities. According to the Ontrack survey, of the 69 law schools offering technology courses featuring e-discovery, only eight of them offered learning experiences in a hands-on format.

McGowan says that by having a combination of instructors with legal and technical backgrounds, the overall certificate experience is set to bring more insight to the constantly evolving nature of technologies with framework on how it can improve legal processes.

To find out more about the Litigation Management Technology Certificate and other UC San Diego Extension legal education programs, visit www.extension.ucsd.edu/Law; or contact Azra Mukanovic, Legal Education Coordinator at (858) 534-8152 or unexlaw@ucsd.edu.

How to request a transcript: Five things you need to know

transcriptBy Kristen Gross

There are several great reasons you might need an official copy of your transcript from UC San Diego Extension. Perhaps your employer needs to see your status in good standing in order to initiate the reimbursement process. Maybe you’re about to apply to graduate school. It could even be that you’re just curious. No matter the reason you need a transcript, UC San Diego Extension Student Services is here to help you get it. Here are five things you need to know:

1. It’s all in the asking

Transcripts are not sent out automatically. In order to receive one, you must submit a transcript request to Student Services.

2. Put it in writing

Before your records can be released, we need your signature to authorize the sharing of this information. You can pick up and submit a form in person at UC San Diego Extension Student Services, 9600 N. Torrey Pines Rd., Bldg C, or download the form and mail to:

UCSD Extension, Dept 0176-H
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093-0176

3. We take special requests

For some graduate programs, employers, or other special circumstances, additional materials may need to be sent along with your transcript. No problem! Simply attach special requests or forms that need to accompany your transcript with your request form, and we’ll take care of the rest. Please be aware that some special requests may extend processing time.

4. There is a (small) fee

For an official transcript, printed on watermarked paper and enclosed in a signed, sealed envelope, we charge a processing fee of $15 per copy. If you would like your transcript just for interest’s sake, you can request an unofficial copy for just $5. Depending on other factors (i.e. a rush, international fax, express shipping) there may be additional fees. Learn more on our website.

5. Feel free to follow up

We always love to hear from students. If you are not sure your transcript request has been received, we don’t mind checking on it. We know that these requests are often time-sensitive, and usually part of an exciting process. If you would like us to make sure it’s on track, please give us a call at (858) 534-3400.

To learn more about the transcript process and request form at UC San Diego Extension—including more details on fees and contact information—please visit extension.ucsd.edu/student. You may also contact Student Services by calling (858) 534-3400, emailing, or stopping by one of our locations.

Intellectual property: Powering the innovation economy

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According to the Partnership for American Innovation, a patent rights industry group, intellectual property in the United States is worth more than $5 trillion dollars, and it helps support more than 40 million jobs in industry sectors such as telecommunications, biotech, agriculture and software applications.

In San Diego County, intellectual property is at the very center of the region’s vibrant and growing innovation economy. In 2014, for instance, more than 6,560 patents were granted in the region, creating a huge demand not only for intellectual property attorneys but for a wide range of professionals from paralegals to middle-managers.

To address that demand, local universities have developed several programs for individuals looking to break in to this important and evolving field.

Recently, San Diego State University College of Sciences and the University of San Diego School of Law have partnered on a new program that prepares students for upward career mobility in the growing life sciences industry.

The six-course Advanced Certificate in Intellectual Property and Regulatory Affairs program begins in the fall semester is focused on providing mid-level life science professionals with the skills needed to translate scientific discovery into commercial products.

“The innovation economy is central to our region,” said Elliot Hirshman, president of San Diego State University. “Life sciences companies already employ 45,000 people and this sector is growing with high-wage jobs. Our joint program will give students these skills, benefiting them and our entire region.”

Another option for those looking to enter the growing field is UC San Diego Extension’s Intellectual Property Certificate. The eight-course program, which has awarded approximately 20 certificates a year since its inception a decade ago, provides students a foundation in how to secure and maintain patents, copyrights and trademarks. It also allows them to focus on key sectors in the local economy such as biosciences, medical devices, software development as well as the rules guiding international patent law.

“We know that patents are the lifeblood of our innovation economy,” said Julia Dunlap, who oversees the UC San Diego Extension program. “Companies are clamoring for people who can help them stay in front of curve both in developing and protecting their intellectual property.”

When it comes to intellectual property, knowledge is not just power — it is also big business.

To find out more about the San Diego State’s regulatory affairs programs, visit regsci.sdsu.edu, email regsci@mail.sdsu.edu or call (619) 594-6030.

To find out more about UC San Diego Extension’s intellectual property offerings, visit http://extension.ucsd.edu/iplaw, email unexlaw@ucsd.edu or call at (858) 534-816

Discover what’s next for your career

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When it comes to your career, the persistent question is: “What’s next?”

What’s next for the job market? What’s the next skill I’ll need to stay competitive? What’s my next career move?

To help answer those questions and more, UC San Diego Extension held its UCSDnEXT event Sept. 10-12, 2015. Filled with workshops, panels, information sessions and networking events, the free three-day event gave attendees an insider’s view on a wide range of industries from health care to computer science to marketing to accounting. UCSDnEXT also covered what’s happening in some of the region’s most cutting-edge and emerging careers in such fields as big data, cybersecurity, and health care information technology.

The event is  part of UC San Diego Extension’s larger mission to ensure everyone is able to take the next step in their careers and in their lives, and UCSDnEXT is designed to provide attendees the best and latest information about the skills they will need for some of the most in-demand careers.

UCSDnEXT highlights hot career trends including:

Children’s Book Writing & Illustration: Want to write a children’s book? Find out how a former student successfully wrote and published her first children’s book on Saturday Sept. 12 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Data Analytics: Three leading experts from the San Diego Supercomputer Center explain the size and scope of the ever-growing “big data” field on Thursday Sept. 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Health Care: Come hear from some of San Diego’s top health care executives as they detail how the Affordable Care Act continues to reshape the industry and its workforce on Thursday Sept. 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Internet of Things: With everything from clothes to cameras to cars now connected to the Internet, there is a growing need for people who can help secure these new networks and devices. Find out more about these jobs of the future on Thursday Sept. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Project Management: Key industry experts discuss how changes in the workplace and workforce are creating are remaking the project management field on Friday Sept. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sustainability: Join a breakfast presentation by Beth Brummitt, president of Brummitt Energy Associates, as she explains how the push for Zero Net Energy buildings, which are designed to produce as much energy as they consume, is creating new opportunities in the construction industry on Friday Sept. 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL): Get first-hand knowledge of the TEFL teaching market from a current instructor, a program graduate, and an ESL/EFL teacher employer on Thursday, Sept. 10. from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The majority of the programs took place at UC San Diego Extension’s University City Center location, which is located at 6256 Greenwich Drive, San Diego, 92122. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Open House took place on the La Jolla campus, located at 9600 Torrey Pines Road, 92037.

For more information about each session, visit extension.ucsd.edu/next

Julia Dunlap: One of San Diego County’s Top Attorneys

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For attorney Julia Dunlap, her love of legal education happened almost by accident.

Dunlap, director of Legal Education for UC San Diego Extension, first began teaching law at the request of a colleague. While she was reluctant at first, the experience in the classroom quickly changed Dunlap’s mind.

“I learned more about the law by teaching than I ever learned in law school,” Dunlap says.

It is Dunlap’s love and knowledge of the law that contributed to the San Diego Daily Transcript naming her one of San Diego County’s Top Attorneys for 2015. Dunlap was the only one of the ten finalists honored in the Academic category who did not work at a law school. The Transcript made its selection from more than 1,200 applicants.

Dunlap credits the honor with her approach to teaching the law, which moves beyond theory and analysis into the practical, real-world applications of the law.

“In law school, the professors were always talking theories and ideas. While I understand the emphasis on teaching people how to think and analyze, there’s more to the law than theory,” Dunlap says. “I tell my students that I’ll never hide the ball from them. I’ll show them how the law actually works.”

Dunlap put that mindset to work and helped create Extension’s nationally recognized ABA-approved Paralegal certificate as well as certificates in Intellectual Property and Litigation Technology Management. For more than 20 years, she has played an active role in the education of law students, paralegals, and legal support staff.

Dunlap, who has an undergraduate English degree from Berkeley and her law degree from University of San Diego, says she takes great pride in the legal professionals her programs have helped produce. Recently, she received a letter from an attorney extolling the legal skills of a paralegal she hired who had graduated from UC San Diego Extension’s program.

“She was able to do more than a first-year associate,” Dunlap recalled the letter saying.

Dunlap also has enlisted many active and prominent attorneys of the San Diego legal community as instructors for the UC San Diego Extension certificate programs so students can learn from the very best the profession has to offer.

“When I started teaching, I thought it could be done differently,” Dunlap said. “It’s not my intention to get rid of the bottom 30 percent like in some law schools. My goal is for everyone to succeed.”

I’m looking for a job. What can UC San Diego Extension do for me?

iStock_000054380670_smaller“I just” — take your pick here — “a) graduated, b) got laid off, or c) decided to change careers and I’m done with taking classes.” I’ve heard this countless times as I’ve attended career fairs and community outreach events on behalf of UC San Diego Extension. “I’m here to find a job” is the refrain of the day.

Battle-weary after months of fruitless job searching, the San Diego job seekers who attend these fairs are more than ready to land those elusive jobs. Resumes in hand, professionally attired, confident smiles and firm handshakes ready to be deployed, they make the rounds at Recruiter Tables Row.

When they arrive at our table, they’re understandably stumped. “What is a major university’s continuing education division doing at a career fair? How can you help me get a job?” they wonder. I tell them that we’re the continuing education and public programs division of UC San Diego. That we’re here to help them with their professional goals. Or personal enrichment, for that matter. That we may not have actual job openings, but we can help them get a job.

Here’s how.

Become more hireable with real world know-how

Many recent college graduates find themselves in uncharted territory. The bioengineering degree that Brad Jensen is completing may not equip him with the nuts and bolts needed to hit the biotech ground running. Theoretical courses in college somehow don’t easily translate to practical applications, he finds out.

At UC San Diego, undergraduate students like Brad are able to register for an Extension professional program at no cost while they complete their college course work. The LAUNCH program allows them to supplement their bachelor’s degree with real-world knowledge taught by working professionals who practice what they teach and share their firsthand expertise.

When Brad graduates, he’ll also have a professional certificate in Biotechnology Project Management along with his diploma, which will boost his chances of getting hired.

Get a taste of what it’s really like with a “Next Step Experience”

Internships are, of course, a great way for both students and job seekers to gain hands-on, immersive experience. UC San Diego Extension offers an internship-like program through “Next Step Experience” courses. Practice over theory is emphasized — precisely why they are an essential component of many certificate programs, including Brewing, Fitness Instruction and Exercise Science, Business Management, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling. It’s a practical capstone that nicely tops off a practical education.

Fertile ground for networking

Most of Extension’s 31,627 students have a college degree and are working professionals. For students, this means amplified networking advantages that can be cultivated into valuable professional connections. It’s a well-known fact that most jobs are not advertised (up to 80% according to Howard Poplinger, owner of human-resource company Epic Development and Evaluation), with employers increasingly bypassing online job boards and opting instead to hire directly through their employee networks. It’s all about “who you know.”

Realign your strengths, acquire needed knowledge

When asked about the nature of the jobs they seek, our job hunters respond confidently: positions in Human Resources, Digital Content Marketing, Information Technologies, or Teaching English to non-native speakers. Well and good. The only wrinkle is that, more often than not, their work experience and skills don’t reflect the right knowledge to land their dream jobs. Their expectations and actual experience are not aligned. And most of the time, they weren’t even aware of it.

Andy Harris may have had a successful retail sales career for 15 years but that won’t make the case for the HR job he wants now. Similarly, Marla Ramos may have worked as a web designer for five years until she got laid off. But that won’t seal the deal for the digital content editor position she’s pursuing. There may be some qualifications Andy and Marla can readily bring to the table, but those won’t be enough. Andy will need to learn about strategies for hiring and retaining talent, while Marla will need to hone effective writing skills to complement her design background to be in the running for the job she wants.

Proof!

Continuing education certificates and courses can bolster your strengths and help you acquire knowledge relevant to your new career. They’re tangible proof of what employers seek:

  • Commitment
  • Dexterity
  • Adaptability

And, yes — additional proof of your knowledge, the evidence employers want.

Access free career resources

At some point in your career — be it early, mid, transitional, or later stage — you may benefit from objective assessments of your strengths and weaknesses, along with professional guidance. UC San Diego Extension offers quarterly free clinics that can point you in the right direction so you can arrive at an optimal life/work balance. You may discover valuable, career-propelling insights that you may have missed on your own.

Move forward with lifelong learning

Innovation is a wonderful thing. But expect to continuously update your skills and knowledge to keep up with advancements and new technologies that will impact our global workplace. Expect to be nimble, to embrace new things. UC San Diego Extension’s goal is to be your lifelong learning resource and partner so you can continue on your path to career and personal growth.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how UC San Diego Extension can help. Next time you visit a career fair, you just may find that we have a table there. Please stop by and say hello. And let’s talk about the next steps that will lead you to that job. Or wherever you want to go.

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