Fullerton College students come from all walks of life – each one with an individual story of how they arrived at FC, challenges and achievements they’ve experienced along the way, and most importantly, a goal of where they’re headed beyond Fullerton College. Their stories help connect us, inspire us, and give meaning to fact that Community Lives Here.
Transfer student Geronimo Gudino recently completed his studies at Fullerton College in the spring of 2018 and transferred to UCLA this fall. In August, he received exciting news that he’d been selected to travel to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) onsite experience, adding to his transfer success excitement. Gudino is one of 319 community college students from across the U.S. who was selected for the onsite experience and another Fullerton College student to be accepted to the NASA program. Five Fullerton College students participated in the experience over the summer. Gudino sat down with us before he headed to UCLA to reflect on his Fullerton College experience.
Why did you choose Fullerton College?
To be completely honest, FC was a last-minute plan. As a senior in high school, I thought I would be going to the East Coast for college, but it was shortly after not getting into my dream school that I decided to stay in So Cal. At that point in the admissions process I had to either take a semester off, or go to community college, and I did not want to put my studies on hold. My counselor recommended Santiago Canyon or Fullerton College, but I ended up choosing Fullerton College because they had more classes to offer. As a high schooler, I had the wrong image of community college. That image portrays community colleges as schools to which people who don’t care about their studies go to. Of course, after attending FC, I realized that image was completely false and misleading. You get what you make out of it.
What support programs have you encountered while at FC?
The STEM program definitely helped me get the classes and exposure that I needed in order to transfer. Once STEM assigned me a counselor, I received the most valuable help from start to finish from my counselor, Jon-Michael Hattabaugh, and thanks to him I was able to get into all the schools I applied to and transfer successfully. STEM also secured us a spot in our required science/math classes for the first year, which was also really helpful.
What did you enjoy most about Fullerton College?
I loved the attention that all the professors give to their students, the opportunities they offer/announce (internships, clubs, resume workshops, honor societies, etc.), the sense of a unified community and inclusiveness (especially during these times), and Taco Tuesday!
Do you have any advice for new and current students?
- Do not turn opportunities down. As a student, I know school’s workload can be overwhelming, but you should take opportunities like joining clubs and honor societies, getting a board position for a club, getting an internship on your field of study, etc.
- No matter how hard a class feels, do your best and fight all the way through (do not be the person who is constantly looking at the drop deadline). This will help you forge a personality that universities and employers want!
- Do not be afraid to ask for help and be proactive! Unlike high school, in college things are not handed to you on a silver platter. If you want to join a club, you have to ask people. If you need help in a subject, you have to go to your professor’s office hours and/or supplemental instruction. If you don’t know what classes you should take, you have to make an appointment with a counselor. The list keeps going… All of these things seem daunting at first (especially coming in straight out of high school), but the more you do them, the better off you will be.