Jessica Garcia De Paz

M.A. in Higher Education Leadership

About Me

I am from Seaside, CA. I received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Monterey Bay in 2013. I also attended the University of Granada for the 2011-2012 academic year. I have worked for TRiO programs and for the Educational Opportunity Program.

What do you hope to do with your degree?

I hope to be involved in Greek life, university-wide retention efforts, or in early outreach and support programs for first generation, low income students and students with disabilities. I am very passionate about developing student leadership skills and believe that every student who enters a university should leave with a degree and an amazing experience.

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

I heard about SOLES through the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education. I was looking into working in student affairs and ran across the program during the forum. I choose to apply because the program requires students to complete an international experience. The program was especially appealing because it offered job experience through its graduate assistantship opportunities.

Tell us about any graduate assistantships you have done through SOLES.

I am working as a Graduate Assistant for Greek Life in the Student Leadership and Involvement Center at the University of San Diego. I advise Greek women and the Order of Omega.

My graduate assistantship position with Greek life allows me to teach an undergraduate student leadership practical experience course during the fall semester. The Student Leadership Practical Experience is a course designed to provide a structured classroom experience to accompany a practical leadership experience on campus.

How has your SOLES education impacted your career goals?

The coursework allows me to apply my learning to my work as an advisor. I am learning more about reflection, group dynamics and the social change model.

Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success?

My advisor, Cheryl Getz, has contributed to my overall positive experience at SOLES. She has helped guide me in into the right track academically and supports my professional development.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a director of early outreach and support programs for students of nontraditional backgrounds. I am hoping that my experiences at USD will help me learn how I can be an effective director.

Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?

You can do it.