SMC Graduate/Returning

Rafael Mendoza

“The best things about SMC are the professors and the schedules they provide for working people. Plus, the college is in a very intimate setting.”

He’s been at SMC for about four years, but has wasted no time at all. “Yeah, I graduated last year with my AA, and now I’ll be transferring to UCLA for my Bachelor’s in Nursing,” said Rafael Mendoza. “I’m already working at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and it’s my plan to get into management over there. It’s a very prestigious hospital, and I know I’ll be completely prepared for the challenges I’ll face when I get there permanently.”

Rafael reports, “I’ve been challenged—and helped every step of the way—by my professors at SMC. Like, I studied Chemistry with Dr. Abani, and I’ve never had a teacher like him before. He’s very personable, and he knows everything in his field, and explains it all beautifully and clearly. He has the patience to explain quite difficult concepts, and he’s just incredibly knowledgeable.” Rafael comes to SMC from his native Denver, and says that his choice of where to study was an easy and great one for him. “A friend of mine was at SMC, and he gave me glowing reports of how great it was. And he was not exaggerating. The quality of learning here is as good as it gets. And I’m also very grateful for the schedules that the college makes available. I mean, sometimes I’ll be working a 12-hour night shift, and then I have to report to school. But it’s possible, and well worth it.”

Rafael advises others to “get into student groups or the student clubs when you get here, because then you’ll be closer to others who may have the same goals and plans for their futures. Get to know your teachers, and use that college library, the computer labs, and the tutors. SMC just has tons of great resources.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.