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Diego Valencia

Diego Valencia credits some sound advice he got from Irvine Valley College (IVC)’s Career Center with helping him achieve a childhood dream.  

Valencia, who graduated with honors from IVC in May, will transfer to UCLA in the fall, a veritable a “dream come true,” he says.

He plans to major in linguistics and computer science at UCLA, a path that at one point seemed unlikely. But a combination of fierce determination, solid work experience and a stellar academic track record at IVC helped solidify his entry into the highly competitive UC school. 

Advancing his chances of UCLA acceptance, he says, was a serendipitous visit to IVC’s career center. “I worked closely with the career center to tailor my resume for an application to IVC’s IT department,” he recalls. He started work as an IVC IT specialist in January of this year, a job he says that has proven to be “a valuable foot in door into the tech industry.” Now well equipped with essential experience related to technology support, he is once again working with IVC’s career center to find similar campus IT jobs at UCLA. 

The journey to his dream school has not been a seamless one.  “After high school, I applied to multiple UC schools, including UCLA, and was rejected by them all.”  But instead of defeat, he saw this as an opportunity. Determined to work harder, he enrolled at IVC and decided on a major that aligned with the Transfer Alliance Program – a collaboration between local community college honors programs and the UCLA College of Letters and Science – another strategic step forward toward UCLA admittance. 

Thanks to his perseverance and hard work – and some sound, strategic input from the IVC Career Center – Valencia is well poised for a promising future. He undoubtedly will achieve his ultimate goal of creating transformative, life-changing technology.