Discovering My Strengths as a UCLA Transfer Student

Person standing in front of concrete rail with white dress, heels, and blue UCLA graduation satchel.

Congratulations new transfer Bruins! My name is Jenica Blohm and I am a second year transfer student from Mission Viejo, California. I am a Sociology major and Education Studies minor. As a graduating senior, I have recently been able to reflect on my valuable experience of being a transfer student at UCLA. 

Attending community college was such a positive experience for me in terms of personal growth, and I have absolutely loved being able to continue that growth at UCLA. When I was admitted to UCLA in 2020, I was so excited but also nervous to make the transition of starting at a new school and living in a new city. Although it was definitely a bit intimidating, I wanted to make the most of my short college experience. Looking back now, I can say that I definitely succeeded in doing that because of the incredibly valuable lessons and experiences that I now have under my belt.

When I first arrived at UCLA, I had to learn to step out of my comfort zone as I only had a few friends that I knew from back home. I also had completely random roommates! This forced me to get involved in as many ways as I could in order to make friends. I did this by joining any organizations or clubs that I was interested in. I am so glad that I did, because I have met so many great people, both friends and professional connections. I have absolutely loved being involved with UCLA STOMP (Student Transfer Outreach and Mentorship Program) because of the amazing friends that I have made and the difference that I was able to make in future transfer students’ lives. I have found that these types of experiences have really helped me to grow into who I am today. I feel as though I have become more extroverted, a more effective communicator, and (I never thought that I would say this) a strong public speaker. I really value these skills that I have learned because I will certainly take them with me throughout the rest of my life.

The staff, faculty, and peers that I have had the pleasure of working with have helped me solidify my future career goals and passions. I am so grateful for the incredible major and minor programs that I had the opportunity to be involved with here at UCLA. The Sociology and Education departments at this institution are truly spectacular. The professors, TA’s, and advisors that I have worked with have taught me so much. I have found that the faculty here are so knowledgeable and truly want the best for their students. They definitely go above and beyond in terms of helping their students succeed and achieve their goals! Professor McDonough’s class Understanding Pathways to College was by far my favorite class that I have ever taken. Prior to this class, all I knew was that I wanted to work in higher education. This class helped me realize that I want to make a difference in higher education by working in college access. 

Even though I came in as a transfer student during the pandemic, I still believe that I was able to have a strong and positive college experience. I have found that no matter who you are, you will find your unique place to thrive within our diverse and welcoming community. I am so, so grateful to have had this opportunity, especially at the #1 public university! I know that incoming transfer students will also share a similar, fulfilling experience like I did. Go Bruins!