Looking for the “perfect fit,” Ngoc chose our PGD in Logistics. Different discipline, short coursework, industrial experience, OPT, affordability, and the best surprise? An amazing group of supportive colleagues and friends!

Q. What brought you to UCR University Extension?

A. For family reasons, I needed to move to the US. I knew how competitive the US labor market is, and I figured that it would be hard to secure a job here without a degree from a recognized institution in the US. Therefore, even though I had been working full time for almost 5 years at that point, I decided that I would begin my journey in the US with proper education and training.

As I had already obtained my Bachelor’s degree, it would seem natural to continue with a Master’s degree. However, I also wanted to explore another field (Logistics & Supply Chain) that was completely different from my previous area of expertise (Education).

I was faced with a dilemma: I wished to just test the waters to see if this new field would be suitable for me, but a Master’s degree would be a serious commitment in terms of both time and money. So, I was doing some research on my own to find if there was any solution for my situation, and that was when I came across the Postgraduate Diploma program at UCR University Extension.

For me, it checked all the boxes: short coursework time (6 months), exposure to industrial experience (3-month internship), eligibility for OPT, and most importantly affordable tuition fees. To be honest, even at the start of the program, I still had some doubts about my decision (because of my overly cautious nature), but looking back, I am glad that I took that leap of faith.

Q. What were some of the unexpected benefits?

A. There were two benefits actually! The first one is that I found myself a new group of friends who follow and assist each other during and even after the program (Shout-out to Sarah, Juhee, Andréa, Roman and Archie). Given the short duration of the PGD program, I had not expected that I would be able to form a close connection with my classmate.

However, all the group projects in the first and second quarter played a huge role in bringing students from different backgrounds together, and I was lucky enough to work with like-minded friends who are not only serious in their academic and professional pursuit, but also sympathetic and supportive to one another.

We have made a pact to have an occasional get-together, either online or in-person depending on the situation, to share updates about our lives, and I hope that we will still be able to stay connected regardless of any ups and downs.

The other benefit for which I am most grateful is my job. Even before I started the program, I had mentally prepared myself for the possibility of not getting any job offers upon completion of the diploma, because I had heard that for F1 students with only 1 year of OPT, it would be extremely difficult to find a company that accepts them and agrees to sponsor their H-1B visa.

However, during the third quarter, the Global Career Center (GCC) placed me in my current company for the internship, and my supervisors were so pleased with my performance that they gave me a return offer with H1B sponsorship.

I could not take all the credit for this result because for one thing, I must thank the GCC for their matching process, and for another, I am just among one of the lucky few who get a job right after graduation. But I do believe that opportunities are out there for those who work hard enough and never stop fighting for them.

Q. Was there a particular department, staff member, or instructor memorable to your experience?

A. Edmund! He was the first person that I met during my first visit to UCR University Extension for an in-person consulting session, and I think it would be no exaggeration to say that he was one of the reasons why I chose UCR University Extension.

I had visited several other universities to inquire about their postgraduate certificate and diploma programs, but I only felt a warm welcome when I came to UCR University Extension. Edmund, along with Sanjana, were both very kind, knowledgeable, and patient with all my questions, which created an impression that the staff members here really care about international students.

During the program, I sometimes had problems that were outside Edmund’s scope of responsibility, but he went out of his way to help me find the solutions. In addition, Edmund, and the other staff, always made the effort to pronounce my name correctly, even though I know how tricky it is for them. This small detail alone shows how much attention they put in to creating a pleasant and caring experience for the students.

Hearing student stories about personal experience and success are the best part of my job. Ngoc’s journey through change is inspiring, and the support and friendship she found in her program, among her colleagues, and the UCR University Extension staff is awesome. Thank you, Ngoc, for sharing and recognizing!

Alumna Ngoc Dang holding her certificate and flowers from UCR University Extension Ngoc Dang
B.A., International Finance
Foreign Trade University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Graduate, Postgraduate Diploma in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, UCR University Extension