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Thanks to UC San Diego Extension, Sunny Elmore has a bright future.

Not too long ago, she graduated from UCSD with a bachelor’s degree in history. But, it was after she graduated that she found her true passion taking a course on women in law. That’s when she knew she wanted to work in the legal field.

But how? Elmore already had a degree in history, and she valued a flexible schedule – something that might prove difficult as an attorney. A paralegal career seemed perfect. So she went back to the university she’d learned to trust in search of a path forward.

“I chose UCSD Extension because I had an excellent experience while obtaining my bachelor’s degree at UCSD,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t go wrong.”

Now, after earning her professional certificate at UCSD Extension, she works as a paralegal. She’s thrilled with the education she received.

“The basic legal research and law classes helped expose me to the different areas of law and gave me knowledge of procedures and exposure to court documents,” Elmore said. “But the biggest difference in my career came through the professors I met while going through the program.”

Career education and personal connections are core components of UCSD Extension’s certificate programs. Students can earn certificates in many areas of study from arts, business and education to law, life sciences and leadership, and many more.

Octavio Espinosa, who heads sales and marketing at a local laboratory equipment reseller, also benefited from UCSD Extension, where he earned a management certificate.

“The learning environment was fantastic,” Espinosa said. “The courses were interesting and relevant, taught by subject matter experts, and each course promoted interaction and teamwork.”

Espinosa appreciated how each marketing course required a real-life project.

“Each person walked away from the program having done an advertising campaign or a written marketing plan, for example,” he said. “These are tangible skills that have tremendous value in the workplace and in a career.”
Indeed, industry experts and academic faculty designed the certificate programs to not only be rigorous but also to provide students with real-world skills.

“I could really sense the passion from each industry instructor,” Espinosa said. “A new set of marketing skills complemented my scientific background and opened opportunities outside the laboratory and closer to the biotech marketplace and the customer. UCSD Extension’s program was perfect for this—cost- effective with a flexible evening schedule and taught by industry experts and professionals.”

Elmore agreed.

“There’s an excellent group of professors who can do so much for your professional career if you listen to what they have to say and stay in contact with them,” she said. “We go into a class expected to learn procedural issues or a bunch of statutes that we will never remember, and the professors there allow us to come out with life lessons and a sense of direction. It was an amazing experience for me, and I am forever grateful to all of them.”

UCSD Extension offers an wide range of certificate programs in dozens of fields like foreign languages, engineering, humanities and writing, public service and responsibility, and many more. To see if a certificate program is right for you, click here.

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