The original version of this article contained an error and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for more information.
Students in semiformal attire mingled under the soft, warm glow of chandelier lights Wednesday night as part of the Toast to Transfers Mixer.
Jointly organized by the Bruin Resource Center and the Undergraduate Students Association Council Office of the Transfer Student Representative, UCLA Transfer Pride Week included a series of events intended to address transfer student issues, celebrate transfer students and help build community among them.
Victoria Ng, a third-year biochemistry student who transferred from Diablo Valley College, said she went to the mixer Wednesday to meet other students who had also gone through the transfer process.
“Transfers make up one-third of the UCLA student body,” she said. “We’re a big part of this school and we belong at this school, alongside other students who are non-transfers.”
First-year human biology and society student Harry Davidson went to the event with Ng, though he’s not a transfer student himself. He said he wanted help create a sense of community between transfer and non-transfer students.
“I think that transfers can sometimes feel out of place, but events like this show there’s initiative to acclimate them better to UCLA culture and life,” he said.
The week’s events included social gatherings, resource fairs, workshops and a volunteer opportunity on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The UCLA Career Center hosted a workshop for transfer students Thursday afternoon. The workshop aimed to teach students how to research career paths, look for job opportunities, write a resume and interview successfully.
Career counselor and UCLA alumnus Jason Tran led the workshop. From his experience as a former transfer student, he said he thinks transfer students have less time to prepare for a career while at UCLA, and encouraged them to utilize the resources available at the Career Center.
“As a transfer student myself, I remember feeling quite overwhelmed my first couple of quarters. The Career Center can help filter opportunities for students,” he said.
On Thursday night, a panel of six UCLA transfer alumni from different fields and backgrounds came to the Ackerman Union Global Viewpoint Lounge to talk about jobs, careers and life after UCLA. The panel included a science teacher, a human resources manager, a medical research associate, an account manager, a publicity assistant and a graduate student studying dentistry.
Panelists gave transfer students advice on networking, interviewing, preparing for graduate school and making the most of their brief time at UCLA.
Soo Nam Choi, a fourth-year economics student who transferred from El Camino College, said he attended the event seeking advice on preparing for life after graduation.
Choi said he had a difficult time transitioning during his first year, especially because he was a commuter student. He said he felt isolated and intimidated and his classes were far more demanding than they were at community college.
“(Transfer students are) here, and they’re growing in numbers, but it’s very difficult for transfers to feel included and feel like this is home,” he said.
Despite these initial challenges, he said he was eventually able to transition successfully and integrate himself into the UCLA community once he moved closer to campus.
This is Transfer Pride Week’s third year, and the first year it has been held during winter quarter. Melissa Sinclair, students with dependents and transfer student program director, and Transfer Student Program Coordinator Heather Adams of the Bruin Resource Center are primarily responsible for organizing the event. They said they plan on organizing a transfer pride week once every quarter in the future.
The Bruin Resource Center worked with numerous departments across campus to organize events this year, Sinclair said. The center also collaborated with the USAC Transfer Student Representative office, which was created in fall.
Sinclair and Adams said they think the transfer community at UCLA is becoming more and more cohesive every year. They said 150 to 200 students attended last year’s transfer student welcome reception, an event also organized by the Bruin Resource Center. This year, the estimated attendance for the reception was around 630 students.
“There’s such a great enthusiasm and momentum and energy around the transfer community that exists here at UCLA,” Adams said. “The community that exists now is beautiful.”
Correction: Jason Tran’s first name was misspelled.