Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Student Experience

Jacqueline Guilbault
Jacqueline Guilbault University of Nevada, Reno, B.A., Communications & Marketing After graduating from Mill High School, Jackie Guilbault made the strategic decision to begin college at CSM. Jackie’s plan was to explore different areas of study, select a career and then chose a university based on what would lead her to reach her career goal. “I wanted to get the most out of my community college experience and attending CSM helped me make those important decisions.” To foster her decision making, Jackie sought out internships related to her classes. Her idea was to find internship opportunities which would give her real-world experience in a career field that interested her.
Leila Sadr
Leila Sadr UC Santa Cruz, Economics I absolutely loved my experience in College of San Mateo. When I stepped onto the college campus to sign up for classes I fell in love with the environment and instantly knew that I belonged here. I made a lot of friends from all over the world — from Nepal to Russia and Lebanon — I met so many people and learned so much from them.
Nabin Shrestha
Nabin Shrestha UCLA, Applied Mathematics It was a great transition coming from my native Nepal and adjusting to the higher education system in the United States. When I first arrived in the Bay Area, I was unsure about my life. My original intent in coming to the U.S. was to study computer science, but I changed my major several times. Attending College of San Mateo helped me adjust and make decisions – I finally decided to study mathematics.
Serena Ly
Serena Ly UC San Diego, Communication I attended CSM because I was unsure of what major I wanted to pursue. At CSM, I was able to take different classes and explore different fields of study, which helped me in determining a major. I found that meeting with my counselor, joining the Transfer Club and learning about CSM’s Transfer Services helped me to decide on communication studies as my major.
Kassandra  Lastimosa
Kassandra Lastimosa UC Berkeley, Sociology and Conservation & Resources Studies I attended CSM because I knew it was a college with great transfer success. After spending a year at Loyola University in Maryland, I knew that it wasn’t the right fit. I set my eyes on the prestigious UC system that I left behind upon my high school graduation. I chose CSM because I knew it was a vehicle to reach my goal of attending UC Berkeley.
Sarah Funes
Sarah Funes UC Berkeley, Political Science Having moved to South San Francisco at 10 years old I craved the sun and a different point of view. So I decided to attend CSM with the goal of transferring to UC Berkeley. I knew I would be there longer than two years because I really struggle with math. My strategy was to complete the UC requirements and take advantage of the many resources that CSM offers.
Rodney Roberson
Rodney Roberson Certified Peer Support Specialist My journey for clarity into drug and alcoholism treatment began at the Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation Program (HVRP) on the Veterans campus in Menlo Park, California. While residing at HVRP, I established a strong desire to create a personal development plan not only to benefit myself, my family, aspired to assist individuals, Veterans and whosoever may suffer from addiction.
Burrell Floyd
Burrell Floyd Case Manager, San Francisco Mental Health My education at CSM has been an eye opener, meaning it made me aware that I could succeed at college level education. It has opened so many doors for me in my profession. I became involved with the NFL Alumni Association, workshops and speaking engagements on the Islands of Hawaii, invited to be a guest speaker at the Northern Lawyers Association, hired as a contractor to do education classes for the San Mateo Union High School District among many many more opportunities.
Shalimar V. Guerra
Shalimar V. Guerra Juvenile Corrections Officer, San Mateo County Probation Department My name is Shalimar V. Guerra and I currently work as a Juvenile Corrections Officer for the San Mateo County Probation Department. My education at the College of San Mateo is what took my career to the next level. I enrolled in the Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Certificate Program after I graduated college from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice; I wanted to enhance my personal resume and career goals.
Jamielyn Gamboa
Jamielyn Gamboa University of San Francisco, Nursing The experiences and memories made as a student here at CSM were priceless! I am equipped, excited, and educated because of the countless resources made available to ALL students. Despite being nervous about attending college for the first time at age 38, I was quickly put at ease by fellow students and faculty. My longtime dream of getting into a nursing program has become a reality due to caring professors who believed in my vision to make a difference.
Robertino  San Diego
Robertino San Diego UC Berkeley, B.A., Economics Carlmont High School graduate Robertino San Diego says CSM was the foundation that made it possible for him to earn a BA degree in economics from UC Berkeley. Choosing a university is a major decision and I wanted to get it right. CSM gave me the opportunity to make that decision while I completed all of the coursework I needed to transfer.
Emmeline Wong
Emmeline Wong UC Berkeley, Business Administration As a Chinese student who came to the United States after completing high school in Peru, I chose CSM because of its flexibility and efficiency in placing students into classes that fit them the best. It was, indeed, a wise decision: CSM has helped me transfer to my dream school, U.C. Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Kyle Day
Kyle Day San Francisco State University I enrolled at College of San Mateo at the recommendation of my educational therapist immediately following high school. I was advised that DSPS was particularly suited to help with my dyslexia. The services and help I received at DSPS greatly aided me in adjusting to college life. The staff is awesome, helpful, and patient. I had the privilege of working for DSPS as an educational coach for three semesters.
Arianna Avendano
Arianna Avendano College of San Mateo, A.A.
CSU East Bay, Psychology
For Arianna Avendano, the key to her success at CSM was all about making the most of the college’s resources. “It was a combination of the staff, faculty and the services at CSM that contributed to my success. I was able to find the resources I needed in order to prepare for a university, and the support I received along the way was exceptional!”
Lindsay Moore
Lindsay Moore University of Cambridge As a full time student, Lindsay maximized her two years at CSM by getting involved in a number of co-curricular activities that enriched her community college experience. By participating in CSM's service learning initiative, CSM Connects, she found a pathway to pursue her passion for public service by getting involved with the campus and the wider community.
Corey Kreidler
Corey Kreidler Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, B.S., Environmental Engineering Corey had earned a high grade point average, but as with so many college freshmen, he was uncertain about a major. “I wanted to make sure I would take the right path so I decided to attend CSM which would give me time to learn about different subjects and not have the pressure of focusing on a major right away.”
Avigdor (Vic) Ronn
Avigdor (Vic) Ronn UC Berkeley, B.S.
Harvard University, A.M., Ph.D.
Fifty years after he left CSM as a transfer student, Dr. Avigdor (Vic) Ronn returned in January 2011 to reconnect with the institution where he began his college education. In 1959, 20-year old Vic arrived in the United States from Tel Aviv, Israel, in his pursuit to “see the world.” Vic found his way to San Mateo, California, where he decided to join the ranks of college students; he enrolled at College of San Mateo when it was located at Coyote Point.
Haley Holmes
Haley Holmes College of San Mateo, A.A. In a little over a year of full time studies, Haley passed her State board exams and earned her Certificate of Completion in Cosmetology. She is currently completing the final requirements for her associate degree.
Jason Lawrence
Jason Lawrence Notre Dame de Namur, Communications After graduating from high school, Jason decided to enroll at CSM to complete his general education requirements and receive the “best education for a reasonable cost” that would allow him to transfer to a university. He found the classes interesting and instructors were very helpful and provided a fun learning environment.
Maria Gershenovich
Maria Gershenovich UC Berkeley, Boalt Law School Growing up in Russia, as a competitive ballroom dancer, Maria Gershenovich never dreamed she would someday attend law school in the U.S. She and her dance partner achieved great success and became national champions. However, her education in the U.S. did not start out on such good footing. She attended three different high schools and a community college while in Washington. Then at 18, Maria relocated to the Bay Area, checked out local community colleges and decided to attend CSM.

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