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Student Profile: Dennis Esmeralda, Master’s in Guidance and Counseling
Dennis Esmeralda, a student in the Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling Program, is a soon-to-be graduate out of City University of Seattle’s Tacoma campus. He sat down and talked with us about his background, and the effort that goes into managing his time while working towards his degree at CityU.
City University of Seattle (CU): Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background!
Dennis Esmeralda (DE): Well, in 2010, I received my Associates Degree at Pierce College at Ft. Steilacoom in General Studies. I received my Bachelors in Arts in Comparative Ethnic Studies in 2012 as a Magna Cum Laude at Washington State University. I’ve worked in the retail industry for about 6 years, and been a full-time student the entire time.
CU: What brought you to CityU?
DE: Having moved back to Tacoma from Washington State University after my undergrad, I heard about a masters program at City University of Seattle through a family friend. She’d attended a program at City University for her Masters in Teaching, and recommended the school to me. After I researched the school myself, and heard more about her experiences, I knew I had to apply to the school.
CU: What’s your experience at CityU been like so far – what’s good, what’s great, what might you have done differently if you could go back and start over?
DE: My experience with City University of Seattle was everything I could ask for in a Master’s program. I was very pleased with the format of the program: the flexibility, mix modality of classroom interaction and web-based learning, and the experienced faculty that I have come to love. Having actual professionals as teachers in the field of Guidance and Counseling gave me great insight of the realities of the job. I started the program with positivity and an open-mind and now that I’m graduating, I believe I am leaving with a wealth of information, skills and tools that will help guide me into my career. I am so thankful of the staff in the guidance and counseling department for providing the utmost care for all of their students.
CU: Was your degree something you felt you needed to obtain in order to take a professional step forward?
DE: I feel that my degree led me in the direction of becoming a professional and guided me towards my educational career pathway goal. Going directly into my Masters after my Bachelors was a decision that I felt was best for me. Education has always been a passion of mine. Whether it was learning to cook or counseling kids, as a life-long learner, I could not get enough of finding myself through my education. I believe that my degree in Guidance and Counseling has opened many opportunities that I thought I never had. I am thankful for City University for giving me those possibilities.
CU: What do you envision is going to be your biggest challenge after graduation? How are you planning on addressing that challenge?
DE: I believe the biggest challenge will be figuring out what to do with my extra time (joking!). Having gone through 2-years of rigorous work, I dedicated myself to the program and my cohort. Seeing the same faces for the past 2-years, I have developed great relationships with all my classmates. My Saturdays won’t be the same. The program allowed me to gain valuable relationships with my cohort members, and the most difficult challenge will be not seeing them for Saturday class. We’ve made a deep connection through the program and we know that our Facebook group will definitely help us keep in touch.
CU: Any advice for future graduates who might be traveling the same path you are?
DE: Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Challenge yourself and strive to your best potential. Know that you are making a difference in not only your life, but the lives that you touch. Do what you love, don’t make it who you are. Hard work and determination will get you to where you envision. It’s temporary, not forever.
If you’d like to share your story, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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