Student Spotlight

Welcome to our new Student Spotlight page where we’ll be dedicating a whole page to one of our very own students for their outstanding work in the department! Each student is chosen with careful consideration and we will be updating the page every few months so keep an eye out on them! These students come from various backgrounds and have gained incredible experience from the Construction Management program at Laney. We asked them a few questions to gain insight on how their experience went throughout the program! Without further ado, our current student spotlight is…

Gisselle Rodriguez

Who are you? 

My name is Gisselle Rodriguez; I was raised in Richmond but I was born in Nicaragua. My family and I moved to the US when I was 10 years old. Despite all of the odds, I was the first one in my family to graduate from De Anza high school and get a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State East Bay.  

What is your career plan? How did Laney College help with that plan? What program/track did you follow while at Laney? 

Like millions around the country, I was not able to find a job in my field after graduating from Cal State East Bay so I started working in my father’s construction company doing a little bit of everything but mainly focusing on finances, safety protocols, permits, etc. I didn’t know what I was doing when I started working for my father so I enrolled in Laney’s construction management program with the idea of taking a couple of courses, just to give me a minimum knowledge in order to better assist him and his company’s needs. However, my professors and peers inspired me to keep going and now I am 3 classes away from attaining my AA in construction management on top of that, I plan on pursuing a Master’s degree in construction management, in the hopes that one day I will become a project manager and will successfully run/expand my father’s company. 

What makes Laney College different from the institutions that you have attended?

My experience at Laney has been completely different than those I’ve had in other schools; When I was working on my Bachelor’s I wasn’t given any direction or offered help; I knew what classes to take and which direction to go in because I got help from my peers. It made my experience very stressful, and made me not want to continue on with higher education which is why when I started at Laney, the idea was just to take on a couple of courses and be done with school. However, the amount of help & support I have gotten from each one of my professors has been indescribable! Each one of them has taken time out of their personal day to not only help with assignments I am confused about, but to also prepare me for job interviews, negotiating contracts, or helping me with personal work projects. From day 1, everyone has been friendly, kind and has made me feel welcomed; The construction management program at Laney really feels like a small tight knit community where we all help each other succeed.

What suggestions/tips do you have for students who are looking towards the same path as you? 

I recommend all students who are curious in the slightest bit in the program to go for it! They really do have all the tools necessary for us to learn; from construction management classes, to intro to carpentry, welding, engineering and general education classes needed to transfer to a Four-year college.