Anthony Sanchez, B.S.
My journey to graduation has been a wonderful experience. I recall when the thought of obtaining an associate’s degree was out of range, much less a bachelor’s! This journey began with unemployment, which led to a job at CNM, which led to me going to school. In no time at all I had my associate’s and was happy with that accomplishment. Thankfully, it did not end there. I had wonderful mentors and advisors that not only encouraged me to continue my education, but that guided me towards all the financial assistance I needed to be able to achieve my goals.
I knew nothing of the OILS program when I initially applied to UNM. My original degree plan was to be a historian, but I after speaking to my wonderful advisors, they steered me towards the OILS program. I could not have made a better decision! Due to my OILS education, I have since gained employment in an OILS related field at CNM!
To all of you that are considering getting your degree, but feel overwhelmed by the time and money investment. Do not be discouraged. There is a lot of help out there!
I have so many people to thank for this journey (Pil Kang, Christopher Larranaga, Miguel Cortez, Linda Barril, and Jimi Sanchez.). Each of you has played a pivotal role in my educational accomplishments!
Oh, and one more thing! It’s not over yet! I continue my adventure in the Spring, as I will begin the pursuit of my master’s degree in OILS!
Steven Carleton, B.S.
When I graduated high school, I was one of those people who felt that expanding my education was something that I did not need to worry about or was one of those people with one hundred different excuses as why I should not continue my education. I began my career in the hospitality industry and began my life including marriage, adventures in life and kids. While in the career field that I chose, I feel I have been fairly successful and did not really think much about expanding my education based on my comfort level in life. Fast forward nearly 30 years and I came to that cross road in my career of being told “You will need a degree if you want to continue to follow the advancement path you are on”.
At that point, I needed to determine what path I could take or what was a degree that could be interesting to me as well as what education path would help me the most in my career and beyond that. I started looking at the course catalogue to see if anything stood out to me. I came across a degree program with the title of Instructional Technology and Training. While the Organizational Information and Learning Sciences program was something that I had never heard of before it sounded like something that could be interesting as well as help me in the future. At the time, I had been working with someone who was an equipment representative and was in town training me on how to use some new equipment that our organization had purchased and realized that would be a good second career for me after my retirement.
After reading the course description of the OILS program and my first conversation with Christopher Larranaga, I knew that this program was for me. That level of understanding has continued from every professor that I have had along this journey and the insight that each one of those professors have brought me has already helped me in my career. These skills will be tools that I will utilize the rest of my career. One last aspect of this program that has made this program successful for me has been the fellow students that I have met along the way. While we have taken these classes online (which was the only way that I have been able to complete this degree due to my work schedule) which might not have provided us the face to face relationships that we can take into the future, I will always appreciate the lessons learned from each one of you.
Best of luck to the Class of 2020 graduates no matter what level of degrees you have earned in this program.
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier
Anne Swickard, M.A.
How serendipitous it was that I found my way to the Learning Officer concentration in the OILs program. I am entering my seventh year working in the professional learning field; developing and designing training for various employees, coaching, creating solutions and trying to implement improvement practices. I was doing all of this without formal training, sound theoretical backgrounds, and support. I relied on the support of my peers, clients, and good old instincts. And then came the OILS program. I found alignment between the work I was doing the coursework in the program. I applied new skills and concepts to my authentic work context. I collaborated with peers from diverse backgrounds as a primary vehicle for learning. The courses I took were expertly designed to model best practices of adult learning, inclusion, and engagement. My professors were always just an email away no matter the issue.
What did I learn? I learned that design really is a teacher and to be a good teacher, I have to learn about the learners and their unique contexts. I learned that organizational learning is about creative problem solving that builds on and builds up the strengths of others. I learned that all my best learning comes from collaboration. I learned how to find direction in the midst chaos and create something beautiful. Most of all, I learned that learning is a life-long process and there is incredible potential in those around us.
Thank you to the professors and classmates who made this program an unforgettable adventure.