My name’s Michael Peden, and I’m a Calbright student enrolled in the IT program.

I’m new to the Los Angeles area, and have been trying to get into a new career. I have a customer service background and even though I’m good at it, I was kind of over it. I wanted something different, so I started looking at colleges and that’s how I found Calbright.

I’ve gone through college applications in the past, but this one was not nearly as grueling. Everything was simple, and everyone helped me with the things I needed. I didn’t have any internet, I didn’t have a computer, and I was doing everything from my phone — but Calbright was able to help me out with a laptop and mobile hotspot.

What’s most important to me about Calbright is that it’s “study at your own pace,” and that’s really how it is. I was new to the area with a new job, a family, and a pregnant wife who needed surgery. I needed to have flexibility, to truly be able to “study at my own pace,” both for when I needed to slow down and for when I could go faster. Calbright helped me set my goals and pace. However I wanted to do it, they helped me. 

From the moment I applied there was always somebody there to help me set and keep track of my goals. I was trying to shoot for a lesson a week, and I was doing pretty good for a while until my wife had surgery. I hit a slump and had to slow down, but I’d still get emails from Calbright reminding me of my goals and letting me know that if there’s anything that I needed there were people there to help. And those people did help me get back on track, and since then it’s been working really well.

Something else that really impresses me is Calbright Career Services. I watched some of the webinars they produced and they were super interesting, so I decided to reach out directly to Priya who works in that department. After we connected I thought “Oh, gosh, thank goodness I did this!” Career Services connected me with so many new people who shared their insight on ways to navigate the path toward my goals, and how to better understand what I truly want out of a new career.  Not only did Priya help with LinkedIn and job search tools, she helped with resumes, interview tips, pre-interview inspiration, dealing with imposter syndrome, and so much more! So many lights are turning on, and I’m feeling more confident about what the future holds.