CSUSM Student Highlight – Carlo Lam


Interview with Carlo Lam
By Marilyn Huerta

It’s that time of year to reflect on the some of our 2015 CSUSM graduates so let’s interview Carlo Lam, Student Assistant for the College of Education, Health & Human Services and see what he’s up to!

What was your major Carlo, and when did you graduate?
Computer Science, Summer 2015

What were your goals when you began college at CSUSM?
My primary goals were to finish my major and find the fastest way possible to find a job.

Where do you work now? Does it connect with your major or your future plans?
I work for Imperial Irrigation district for the system operations department, and it connects to my major.

What were your favorite subjects to study at CSUSM?
My favorite subjects during college were English, Business, Marketing, History and Philosophy, while those subjects are unrelated to Computer Science; those subjects helped me tremendously to become a better communicator and writer.

What are some of your favorite memories from CSUSM?
Endless hours spent at the library

What is your career plans right now?
I have many career plans but my short-term plan is to obtain a Masters in Computer Science, and my long-term plans are t0 start my own business and become a part time professor in Computer Science.

Who is your role model and why?
I have had many role models that shaped me in many ways. I find comfort in knowing that I am not the only one struggling. When in doubt, it always helped me to think about all those people who could afford to go to college. It gave me strength to continue with my goals.  I have too many role models that helped me shaped who I am today so I don’t have one in particular.

Please share info about your background: Info about where you came from, favorite childhood memories, family life, hobbies, interests, etc.
I was born and raised in Mexico and grew up in a middle class family in a town not too far from San Diego. Ever since I was in elementary school I knew I wanted to attend the university but at the time of course I did not know where it would be. After my Junior High graduation while I was still living in Mexico, I received my permanent residency status after waiting for over 10 years, so I could finally live in the United States. Only then it was possible to start and continue my education in the US. When I started high school in Calexico, California, I did not know any English and as you may suspect I struggled during high school and the early years of junior college. I graduated from High School in 2008 and continued to learn English at a community college in Imperial Valley for two years. After four long years of working and going to school part time I finished all the requirements for a major in Computer Science. Finally I was warmly welcomed to Cal State San Marcos and finished my college degree.

Please share info about your current employment or where you were hired? Why is this important to you?
I currently work in the Power industry back in Imperial County. To me the experiences that I gained while working and attending school helped me to achieve my primary goal. To have a good job close to my relatives. Desire and discipline together formed the key to my success in obtaining what I wanted.

Is there anything you’d like me to share about you?
Even if you do not see the value in going to college now, keep going. Only after you finish will you realize how worthwhile it was to spend many hours away from family and friends.

What makes you happy?
That I do not have to study for another final exam!



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