Student stories – Genki Nemoto (Linux Administration)

Genki Nemoto is a Linux Administration student from Japan at UCSC Extension, Santa Clara.

What has your journey been like? When did you first arrive? What are you doing now?

I came here in September of 2016. I studied English for 6 months and after that I came to UCSC Extension to study computer science. But after taking a few classes I realized that my English was not enough to keep up with the classes. That’s why I decided to take more English classes at EC English at UCSC Extension. Right now I am doing an internship at a local company. It’s a small company but there are many people who have great skills. That’s why I’m really comfortable there.

What is your program of study?

My certificate program is Linux administration.

While you were in the program, what was your favorite class?

The Linux administration classes that will help me to become an expert in Linux administration. Before coming to this school I already knew coding but this course provided me with a lot of the tools and basic concepts to manage Linux. It was new to me.

Tell us about your internship. How did you find it?

The Campus Manager sent my resume to local companies and they actually called me.

What was the interview like?

They asked me what I was doing at this school and why I am studying Linux. I had a lot of programming knowledge already but Linux is different. I told them that in order to become a good engineer or programmer I needed to study the fundamental platform.

What do you do in your internship?

The project I am supposed to join hasn’t started yet. We are preparing for it. So I am doing a lot of research to prepare. I work for around 7 hours a day, 3 times a week.

Are you taking classes at the same time?

Yes. I’m taking an AWS class (Amazon Web Services) – it doesn’t relate to Linux administration but AWS is very much in demand these days, that’s why I chose this class.

How did the English classes help to prepare you for the internship or the certificate program?

They provided us with so many opportunities to present in front of people. That was really useful.

What do you enjoy about the certificate program?

I studied a lot of new technologies and also connected with local professionals who work for companies in this area.

What do you like about the Silicon Valley?

One interesting thing is that there is so much variety here. Many different kinds of people come here. I think it is a very unusual place.

Student stories – Ady Liang (Biotechnology)

Ady Liang is a Biotechnology certificate student at UCSC Extension, Santa Clara.

Ady Liang, a Biotechnology certificate student, at a networking event in San Francisco.
Ady Liang, a Biotechnology certificate student, at a networking event in San Francisco.

Tell us about your journey. When did you arrive? What are doing now?

I am from China and I arrived in the Silicon Valley last year, in September of 2016. I am in the Biotechnology certificate program now. This is the last week of the second quarter. There are three quarters in the certificate program.
When I first came here in September of 2016 I studied English for six months. I advanced a lot, I think: when I first came here I could not communicate well, but now I am confident enough to communicate, send emails, and write essays. I started the certificate program in March. Now I have been in the certificate program for half a year.

What has been your favorite class so far?
My favorite class has been GCP: Good Clinical Practices. The teacher is amazing. It is a course about conducting drug trials. The teacher – Dr Singh– is really great.

How did the English classes help you to prepare for the certificate program?
The English program helped a lot. I have to write a lot of essays. For my immunology class I have to write five essays. The class is just ten weeks long but there are five essays and one presentation. I had never presented in front of people before I came here. In the English class we practiced presenting a lot. In the advanced English class, we gave presentations almost every week. So now I have a lot more confidence.

What is something new you have learned from your certificate program classes that you will use in the future?

For me a new topic is DNA sequencing. I worked in the base-unit of the Chinese CDC and we used a different method of DNA sequencing. Even though I worked in a lab for 10 years, I only knew the theory. When I started this certificate, I learned a lot about DNA sequencing methods. The teacher kept telling me, “Ady, you will find that there is an amazing industry in China that uses this method now.” So when I go back I will be very well prepared.

What do you enjoy about the program?

There isn’t much pressure. Just two or three classes a week. I can handle that easily. I had been very worried about that. Because my English wasn’t that great when I first arrived and Biotech is fairly academic, I was worried I couldn’t keep up with the teachers. But it works for me. I can understand, I can finish my homework, I read my textbooks – if there is vocabulary I don’t understand, I just translate it and realize, “Oh, that’s it!”

What do you enjoy about this area?

I like the weather! I lived in the South of China where it’s very hot. But here it’s very comfortable. There are many events, too. You can meet a lot of people. They live very freely and work very freely.

What is something you have learned about life or for life?

Try your best. Do everything you can do.