Former Classmates Together Again as SJVC Employees
Imagine taking your seat in the first class of your new career training program, already a little nervous about meeting a lot of other people, when you realize that there is just you and one other student in the room. Now, that’s a nice student-to-teacher ratio!
That is how it was for Greg Serrano and Kailynn Parker when they each started their Business Administration program a little over three years ago. The Temecula campus was still in its infancy when the first Business Administration was launched – with two students. Greg and Kailynn made the most of it.
“Your instructor can give you a lot more attention on the material,” says Greg. “It was also easier for me to break out of my shell when I first started.”
Kailynn agrees that the small class size gave them both a little extra boost. “Having my first class with only two people (including the instructor) made it easier because it was more one-on-one and easier to learn,” she says.
It did not take long for Greg and Kailynn to form a productive team. “We did help each other when it came to projects and it made it easier to help one another in class since it was just the two of us,” says Kailynn. Eventually more students enrolled in the Business Administration program and the classroom began to expand with new personalities, voices and opportunities to present projects in front of a larger audience.
Just out of their teens and about the same age, Greg and Kailynn managed to become friends along the way. Greg occasionally gave Kailynn a ride to school, since she did not have her own transportation at the time. Greg eventually switched to morning classes and they kind of lost touch. All too soon they were sharing a graduation stage and excited about the ‘pioneer’ experience they had shared.
Just before graduation, Greg heard about a First Contact opening at his campus. Some of his instructors had endorsed his candidacy for the position. Within a week of graduation, the spot at the front desk was his.
“I was happy to hear that he became First Contact as soon as we graduated,” says Kailynn. “To me, it showed determination to be able to know about the job opportunity and jump on it.”
About a year and a half later, they were both a little surprised to find themselves, once again, sharing space when Kailynn, too, was hired as First Contact at the Temecula campus.
Greg and Kailynn’s teamwork kicked right back into play.
“I believe we do make a good team because we know each other from being classmates and that makes it easier to communicate, and communication is what makes us a good team,” says Kailynn.
“It is unusual to have two grads working the same role at the same time,” says Robyn Whiles, Campus Director. “We are lucky to have these two to welcome visitors to our campus.”
Both Greg and Kailynn are strong advocates for career training at SJVC. “Bonding with the students, helping them get their confidence up, are things I like to do,” says Greg. “Sometimes when high school students come in with their parents, they are a little nervous and I try to give them some idea of what to expect. I feel like there is a change in them from when they walk in to when they walk out.”
Kailynn wants to make a solid contribution to the team. “I believe Greg knows he can count on me to always pull my own weight and not put all the work on him,” she says. “I hope that me trying to do the best I can for the company is also a help to Greg.”
Those who open the front door of the Temecula campus have a formidable team of information and support there to greet them.
Kailynn and Greg are often asked about their education by visitors, and both provide solid reviews for our campus, as representatives of student success.
Greg sums it up. “I was thinking about how we both started as students, then employees. When we first started class, we were sitting next to each other, and now we’re working together and sitting right next to each other. It feels like we’re still working on a project.”
It is a project with an effective and familiar team at the helm.