Grad Student Spotlight: Q&A with Jay Ramirez
Where are you originally from? Where did you complete your undergraduate education?
I was born in Mexico and moved to Oxnard when I was six years old. I completed my undergrad at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI).
What made you select Cal Poly, SLO? Had you been to the campus and/or the area previously?
Before becoming a Cal Poly student, I did not know anything about SLO. I selected Cal Poly because of the location; it is not far from my hometown and one of my CSUCI advisors recommended Cal Poly.
What has been your favorite part of living in SLO or the area? Least favorite?
Living in SLO and being part of the MFT program provided the opportunity to develop close friendships. However, there are a lot of things that I don't like about SLO. The most important one is the lack of diversity!
Tell us about your experience in the MFT program. What is the most important thing you have learned and why?
Being in the program has been a “wild ride.” Every quarter is different; when it seems that it has gotten easier it becomes a lot more challenging. I have learned to celebrate my small victories such as a good grade on a test or turning in a paper. This program requires a lot of energy and time, and celebrating my small victories helps me cope with the demands of the program.
What has been the most challenging part of the MFT program for you?
There has been a lot of challenging parts of this program. Being away from my family has been very difficult. At one point I felt that I did not belong in this program; it took a long time to feel comfortable. Being the only Mexican has not been easy.
What do you plan to do next in terms of education and/or career?
My plan is to get my MFT License and eventually go back to school and get a PsyD in clinical psychology.
What do you like to do for fun, in your spare time?
When I am here in SLO in my spare time I like to watch shows on Netflix, play video games and go downtown with friends. The weekends I spend in Oxnard. I like to spend time with my family we enjoy going out to dinner and inviting friends over for a carne asada.
What advice would you give to a prospective graduate student in psychology?
There may be a time where it might seem that the best option is to give up and walk away. If you get to that point, don't be afraid to ask for help from faculty or from your cohort. Talking to them will remind you that you are not alone in this program.
Tell us something about you that few people know.
I enjoy working on construction related jobs like painting a room or fixing the roof.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20? 30?
In 10 years, I see myself with a private practice providing services to the LGBT community and immigrant population and having a family. In 20 years, I would like to have a construction company where I share ownership with my parents and siblings.