Inside CSUN: interview with our former student Clarissa de Pádua

Courses, dates and specifications of California State University, Northridge courses you already know, but how about knowing more about the students’ experience?

We invited our former student Clarissa from Padua to talk a little about programs’ daily routine, professors and leisure time at California State University, Northridge. Clarissa attended our Design Thinking course in January 2020, and you can see what she has to say below.

How was the first day of the program?

The first day was different because, in fact, we had 2 different “first days”. The day before classes started, IBS and CSUN took the students on a tour at the University, so we could get to know a little of the space, so that on the first effective day we didn’t feel so lost, which I thought was very kind. The first day of class was very intense and profitable, I met my classmates, professors (from Design Thinking and Business English), I received the material and classes have begun.

What was your routine at the University? And on the weekend?

The days of the week were all dedicated to classes (except Fridays, which we had company visits), because we had a full-time basis classes, and the rest of the free time was for studying and carrying out the projects we received from professors. Even so, I could enjoy watching a basketball game at the university, getting to know the neighborhood, socializing with the other students (as there were 3 courses, it wasn’t always possible to see everyone during class time, so it was during breaks and at the end of the day we used to see each other to talk, to know how the classes were going with other professors), etc. On weekends, we usually gathered in groups to stroll around Los Angeles or visit nearby cities.

Why did you choose to study at CSUN? What was your favorite thing there?

I chose CSUN for having the course I wanted to attend and for the University’s reputation. What I liked most was the structure, rooms all equipped, buildings and the fact that everything we needed was there (or very close). Not to mention that it was beautiful, huge.

How were professors and classes like?

Professors (all of them, including Business English), were highly qualified, with an impressive work background, so it was common telling a case that fits the subject of the class, they explained something that had already happened to them, and that was amazing because we could see the material in an applied way. The classes were always full of information, very dynamic, we did group or individual activities to improve knowledge right there.

Besides the course, you and your colleagues spent your free time visiting parts of California. What places did you like to visit the most?

I really enjoyed visiting Santa Monica and LACMA in Los Angeles. I also visited San Diego, which is beautiful, and Las Vegas, which is exactly as the films portray, it was a very different experience.

How was the Graduation Ceremony?

It was amazing. We had lunch where we all sat together to be able to talk and relax one last time, we saw scenes from our trajectory at CSUN, we saw our friends receiving awards for their effort during the course, we received our certificates, we took pictures, (I cried too much hahaha). I will keep this day with great affection in my memory.

At the end of the experience, what do you think was essential to your professional field? What about the staff?

The experience of attending a Design Thinking course at an American university added a lot to my portfolio, mainly because this tool is used a lot in my area and CSUN is an outstanding university  in your curriculum. Since I came back from the trip I have used the methodology in my work and it has been very rewarding. On a personal level, I made friends from different places, with different types of training and experience, and being able to share experiences and learn from them was something transforming.

Thank you for sharing your experience, Clarissa! IBS Americas wishes you success in your professional life.

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