Gabe Guevara - a working learner balancing a full-time job, a side hustle as a wedding and concert photographer, AND community college classes. Now, he’s enrolled in a program that will allow him entry into the healthcare field.
Here’s his story:
Q: Can you tell me about your community college journey?
I go to Austin Community College and I decided to enroll because of job opportunities. My previous job was great but I hit it’s ceiling and it was far too niche. If I lost the job, I would pretty much be starting over. It didn’t have many transferable skills, so I wanted a bit more stability in my career. So, I decided to enroll in the healthcare field.
I had been to college before, and graduated with an English degree. None of those classes really were transferable for this program, so I had to do a handful of biology, physiology, and anatomy classes at nights and Saturdays while I worked full-time. I got CNA certified, took placement tests, and THEN was eligible to apply to the program. And I got in.
The program is allowing me to study to be a cardiac sonographer and vascular sonographer. It’s the same technology to look at babies, but on the heart. Once I get through the program, I’ll be certified in this profession. Heart disease is the #1 killer of America, so my specialty is vastly needed especially as Gen X ages.
Q: What about the working side of being a working-learner?
A: Well, I grew up doing artsy stuff and being in bands. Eventually that smeared over into photography of concerts. Early on, I played in a lot of bands and then got into playing at churches every Sunday. I did music for a long time and went to a lot of concerts, and wanted to photograph those concerts, and eventually got paid to photograph big events. It's all about the side hustle.
No matter your side hustle, it’s always a good time to continue on your educational journey. Play piano, take photos, tutor some kids, or bake pies. Whatever your thing is, you CAN get a certification or degree while doing it.