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August 4, 2021

Ernesto Gonzales was working at a job with limited financial growth when he heard about the Workforce Partnership’s Income Share Agreement (ISA) program. He applied for the business intelligence program and was accepted. Business intelligence analysts support data-driven organizational decision-making and maximize the utility of accumulated data. Here he tells us about his experience with the ISA team and his advice for others considering the program. 

I was working full time and realized that I needed to act if I wanted to have better opportunities and more financial flexibility. I was making ends meet but I knew I had potential for more. All I needed was an opportunity to learn and improve so I could change careers. 

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When I researched the ISA program and how it worked, it made total sense to me and I decided to apply that same day. The classes being offered aligned with my interests and I loved that the whole program could be completed remotely since I was working full time.   

The ISA program staff are amazing and all of them made the experience a great one. They really care about what you do and go above and beyond to support you. I would especially like to thank my ISA counselor, Matt Roman, for his guidance, time and dedication. He was instrumental in my ability to finish the program successfully; he supported me and had faith in me during a time when very few people did.  

My favorite part of being in the ISA program was collaborating with my classmates and our virtual study sessions. I found an enhanced learning experience when all of us would help each other. Figuring out how to write SQL queries and experiment with new ideas was also very fun and challenging! 

Currently, I work as an IT associate for San Diego Gas & Electric. I love what I am learning and the awesome co-workers I have there. After earning my Business Intelligence Analyst Certificate from UC San Diego Extension, I would like to dive into data science next year. I plan on joining a graduate program for to further my education and career.  

For others who are considering the ISA program, ask for help and use all the resources available to you! There’s no such thing as a bad question. Change is scary for sure, especially if you are already established in a career. I believe that regret is worse if you decide to stay on the same path knowing you can change it. Also, get to know your counselors. They are there to help you grow and be successful in the program. I believe that without Matt’s help, I wouldn’t be where I am today. You also want to make time for your classes and have a schedule. Lastly, reach out to your instructors for help and work with your fellow classmates. Teamwork makes the dream work.

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