Seeking career change, young professionals exit corporate world to go back to school
InterCoast College Riverside has become a magnet for many of them, like Jenelly Cardenas from Riverside, Calif.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – There’s a reason why business majors are the most widely earned degrees according to the Institute of Education Sciences. Widely sought, high-paying business jobs can be found across the country leaving new graduates with a plethora of options on their way to corporate America.
But for 27-year-old Jenelly Cardenas the corporate world just didn’t fit.
“I never felt fulfilled in my business career,” said Cardenas. “I had a good life and my career was advancing but at the end of the day I felt like I wanted to do more.”
Eight years after her last college experience ended, Cardenas found herself enrolling at Intercoast College at the Riverside, Calif. campus
Intercoast is a private career college designed to provide associates degree and diploma level career programs that prepare students to succeed in specialized fields of allied health, legal, business, and trade industries.
“A significant number of our students are returning to school to seek a second career after working for many years in another occupation. They come to us with the desire to follow their passion and work in a career that is rewarding and one that they can give back.”
Taught by professors with decades of experience in the classroom and in the real-world and with just 20 students per class, Cardenas concentrated her studies on the career college’s Alcohol and Drug Counseling program.
“The classes were very engaging and the small class size allowed a lot of quality time with the professors,” said Cardenas. “I also attended while they were renovating their classrooms which gave me resources that immediately helped me prepare for a job in my career field.”
Cardenas credits the school’s externship program as one the career college’s most rewarding aspects. The externship allowed Cardenas to gain real world experience even before she graduated. Even when her first facility didn’t respond to her outreach, Cardenas stated that the advisors at InterCoast College redirected her to another company.
The assistance of the advisors led Cardenas to an externship at the Riverside Center for Change. A three month externship followed by a month of volunteering while she finished at InterCoast and earned her drug counseling certificate, led Cardenas to a full time position one week after graduating with honors.
Cardenas is now the only full time abuse counselor on staff as she works with recovering drug addicts who are looking to get their life back on track.
“We deal with a lot of parents who had their children taken away by Child Services,” said Cardenas. “I help them complete a one year program that goes towards their efforts in reclaiming their children and becoming a family. It’s not how I envisioned my life eight years ago, but I wouldn’t change any of it now.”