Students choose majors to lead to dream careers

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Level 1 nurse Ashley Goode gives a deltoid injection to a patient while Level 1 nurse Nicholas Garza observes in Dr. Valerie Noel’s Professional Nursing Competencies class Oct. 4 in the nursing complex. The injection was for intramuscular medication. The nurses were practicing medical administration — oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous and insulin. The nurses were also practicing how to mix long acting and practice insulins for patients. With 70,000 vacant nursing positions because of baby boomers and old nurses retiring, Texas will have to fill those spots by 2020. There are 600 applicants for the nursing program at this college, but fewer than 100 are accepted. File 2016

Family, high school courses, the college website and jobs and experiences in their communities have led students to select courses of study at this college whether graduating with a terminal degree or planning to transfer to a senior institution.

The Ranger asked students at random the first week of classes how they chose their major.

Business management sophomore Gloria Acosta, 48, is a mother of two entering her first year at this college.

She transferred from Oahu, Hawaii, after her husband, who is in the Army, was stationed in San Antonio.

Her l career goal is to work for the federal government in the Exceptional Family Member Program.

This program helps aid military families by providing community,  education, medical assistance and housing along with additional support from local military and civilian departments.

“I want to manage different parts of the program to help better the programs for families involved,” she said.

Acosta was inspired to pursue this career after working as a store clerk in Colombia.

Her biggest strength is her management style.

“ I manage with an out-of-the of-the-box approach to help in different situations,” she said.

Acosta said her biggest obstacle will be adjusting to larger classes and a faster-paced curriculum.

Acosta plans to graduate from this college with an associate degree before pursuing her career.

Business administration sophomore Angie Ortega said she wants to do business for a major company one day.

 “Mark Cuban is one of my inspirations and I look up to him a lot,” she said.

Mark Cuban is an American businessman, investor and owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks.

Ortega said she chose to pursue business administration because she is passionate about math, so she thought business would be a good fit.

 “One of my biggest challenges going into business is not being able to come up with ideas and being a great leader,” she said.

 She plans to get a degree at this college and transfer to the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Jimmy Martinez cuts open a car door using Jaws of Life while classmates Matthew Klavon and Ricky Huizar hold it open. File 2014

Biomedical engineering freshman Darius Johnson is attending this college to complete basic courses, but he has bigger plans.

“I want to be somewhat trained in medical, but I want to eventually be a firefighter,” he said. “That’s my end goal, to be a firefighter.”

Johnson admitted he is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, which will benefit him as a firefighter.

He has known he wanted to be a firefighter since he was a child, but he also would like to have a medical background, which would allow him to enter other fields.

Johnson is considering transferring out of state so he can travel. He said he wants to visit Colorado.

Johnson will benefit from his family in the career path he has chosen.

“I have an uncle and a family friend that are firefighters, so they’ve given me advice,” he said.

His mother’s side of the family is in the medical field, he said.

Sophomore Madilynn Beck is majoring in music business.

“Being a girl is hard as it is. Having to work 10 times harder to be taken just as seriously as others is my main goal,” she said.

Beck hopes to become a tour manager or a talent scout.

“I want to do what other artists do for me. I want people to feel something with their favorite artist whether it’s connection or inspiration,” she said.

Beck’s biggest goal is to continue to get to know how labels work, and she hopes be connected to the right one to make artists’ dreams come true.

Finding Beck’s major for this career wasn’t difficult.

“I needed something related to music, and SAC had it right there for me on their website so I went for it,” she said.

Biology freshman Reagan Atkins is pursuing a degree to become a nurse practitioner. 

Atkins is already a certified nursing assistant as a first semester freshman, so she is getting hands-on experience and has goals in place. 

Atkins said she became devoted to this major after one of her health teachers in high school told her she would do great at it. 

One of her biggest challenges will be “to contain my frustration when patients act out aggressively,” she said. 

“I recently got slapped by one of my elderly patients,” she said.

Sophomore Cassie Martinez said she has a desire to be a nurse.

Her mother is a nurse at North Central Baptist Hospital.

“After hearing what my mother tells me about her job, I instantly wanted to go in that field,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion to help people. That alone motivates me to become a nurse.” 

Challenges will be staying mentally and physically prepared for whatever the job entails, she said.

Graphic designer sophomore Karla McKenzie said she wants to enter into the world of web design for major entertainment companies.

“Doing graphic design for entertainment companies, such as for gaming, movies and animations, would be a dream come true,” she said.

McKenzie said she became fond of graphic design in elementary school after watching animated films and behind the scenes programs showing how animators created finished products.

“Being able to show off my drawing skills and learn what I can do and what I can work on is what I thrive for,” she said. “It’s a new challenge every day.”

She plans to graduate from this college and transfer to Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.

Having creative freedom on new projects from lighting to the coloration, she expects finding the computer program that works best to be a challenge, she said.

Architecture sophomores Romeo Perez and Ilmar Gonzalez examine Perez’s study model to see how it looks inside the base model Feb. 5 in Chance. The Design 4 class had to make a contemporary infill building model of a showroom and studio for the Kallison block adjacent to city hall and the Bexar County Justice Center. Students had to reflect this city’s culture, history, character and climate within their model. File 2018

Architecture freshman Jose Herrera is studying to be a civil engineer after seeing older generations of his family work in construction sites.

While he aims to build structures for the public as his career, however, his major has a more personal goal attached to it.

“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to build the family home,” Herrera said. “When I would go to the construction sites with my cousins and uncles, I discovered how much I like to build things.”

Jose Herrera believes his people skills will allow him to contribute more to the job than other individuals.

“A lot of people don’t think about the other side of it,” Herrera said “I’m a people person, I can make connections. That’s what will make it for me.”

Computer engineering sophomore Michael Salinas said he wants to work for a software or gaming company such as Microsoft or Apple.

“I’ve always loved math. I love science,” he said. “I’ve always been able to think that way, which is how you have to think when coding.”

Salinas said part of the appeal is being able to work from home or the office.

Computer coders typically work individually, but their work is part of a team effort, which requires coders to change their code to be cohesive with the rest of the team project.

Salinas said in middle school he took an HTML class where he did basic coding.

“It was really, really fun,” he said.

After taking Java and scripting classes in high school, he decided to major in computer engineering.

He plans to graduate from this college and transfer to the University of Texas at San Antonio.

His love of being isolated so he can focus will help him be successful as a computer coder, but constantly adapting code to be blend with others work will be challenging, he said.

Social work sophomore Fabiola Isimbi said she wants to help people.

“I want to be a sort of counselor or someone that could help give advice,” she said. 

Fabiola said she first started wanting to help people in PALS while she was in high school.

PALS stands for Peer Assistance and Leadership.

“I went to Austin Community College then I transferred over to San Antonio College,” she said.

Fabiola’s strengths are understanding people and being open-minded.

“Some people might not be as reasonable or kind to me, but it’s all right, “she said.

Trainor Noal walked to class with one headphone in.

It is music that has driven him his entire life.

Now a sophomore, Noal hopes to go into radio-television-broadcasting.

“I would like to see more alternative rock music stations in San Antonio,” he said. “There aren’t many that play local bands or more underground musicians.”

He hopes to transfer to Texas A&M University.

“It would be cool to be able to interview bands and help share new music around the country,” he said.

International studies sophomore Cynthia Bonham-Miller Jr., who is starting her fourth semester at this college, shared the career she wants to pursue.

“There’s several plans, like 300 of them, but eventually I would like to work for a nonprofit,” she said.

Bonham-Miller lived in Guatemala for six years and saw firsthand the injustices people there suffered. It all began when her grandmother started volunteering for the Guatemalan people. This ignited her passion for social work.

“You have to have empathy if you want to help people,” she explained.

That empathy, education of current events, social awareness and social activity are a few of the characteristics she believes are important for a person in this field.

She is not sure where she will transfer.

“That’s one of the 300 different plans I have right now. It’s up in the air.”


Giovanni Maccarone, Julia Padilla, Julian Gonzales, V. Finster, Liandre De la Uso, James Russell, Jeremy Laborde, Jason Durant, Alexandria Matus, Elizabeth Cedillo, Geoffrey K. Hovatter and Huguette Buduri contributed to this story.


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