Transfer students face the opportunities and challenges of attending two colleges during their undergraduate degree. Once they arrive at Cal State Fullerton, they must maximize their campus involvement and career development to fit a two-year program. Mihaylo accounting and management junior Adrian Llorente ’18 discusses his transfer experience from Saddleback College in South Orange County.
How was your transition from community college to Cal State Fullerton?
It was information overload when I first transferred. I was surprised by the huge number of business-related clubs and on-campus activities. I felt totally lost. I had no idea what people were talking about or where anything was on campus. I knew nothing about accounting firms, the different service lines or what to expect in a career in accounting.
I’m so thankful to the helpful faculty and staff of the Accounting Department for helping me navigate.
How did you choose accounting as your major?
After getting involved with the Accounting Society and discovering more about what a career in accounting might entail, I found my passion. The accounting program is a totally unique experience! I am learning something new every day. I love meeting professionals and getting to know the diverse people who comprise the club.
What advice would you give to students preparing to transition from community college to Cal State Fullerton?
There are so many great resources to take advantage of. I recommend visiting Mihaylo Career Services or Business Advising to find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The advisors are very knowledgeable and friendly, and their advice could help you take a step in the right direction.
If you find yourself having trouble in your classes, join a study group, attend Supplemental Instruction sessions, or visit the Mihaylo Tutoring Center. These are all incredibly useful tools provided by the school that not enough students take advantage of.
Don’t be afraid to take on responsibilities or join a club, despite already having a busy schedule. I was very hesitant to get involved on campus. I was afraid I wouldn’t have time to study, or I would be too busy with work. The help and encouragement I received from goal-driven friends gave me the ambition to do my best to utilize every moment to do something productive or something I love.
You are involved in ALPFA, the Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi. What advice would you give transfer students on how they can get involved on campus?
I was not an active member in any clubs in junior college. My No. 1 piece of advice to transfer students is to be open, join a club, get to know your classmates, form study groups and make new friends.
I couldn’t have made it through my first semester without the help from my peers. Some of these people mentored me and guided me through the entire recruiting process that most accounting majors get involved in to receive summer internships and offers for career jobs after graduation.
At the start of the new semester, most of the business clubs table to recruit new members. I went to each of the tables and got to know some of the members, and what each club is all about. I felt drawn to the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). They were so eager to help me with the transition to a four-year university and actually encouraged me to get involved with other clubs and to join Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi (BAP).
A lot of students are hesitant to join ALPFA because they are not Hispanic or Latino. Yet ALPFA is a national club open to everyone. The club’s focus is on promoting diversity, cultural awareness and practical skills for work. They provide many opportunities to network with professionals and one another.
I got a new perspective on school after getting involved. While getting good grades is important, it is crucial to maintain balance in your life. Try to keep an open mind, ask questions, get involved and get to know the people around you.