US Navy veteran enters STC and sails into future medical career
Student of the Week: Jose Cuellar
As a former student veteran, Jose Cuellar says he utilized what he learned in the military to prepare for a future career in the medical field.
Right after high school, Jose said he enlisted in the US Navy in 2012 and became stationed in Gulfport, Mississippi for the next five years. He said he was deployed twice and became stationed in Guam and finally Roda, Spain before completing his service in 2017.
“Both my parents are from Mexico so I'm a first generation American,” Jose said. “I think that's something that pushes me further to kind of create a legacy like start a family and branch out because I'm first generation. My parents don't know any English, and growing up I didn't have anyone to really support me financially. School was hard, and I supported myself by working full time at Sonic.”
Entering college in the fall of 2017, Jose said he chose STC because it offered him a chance to start his education on the right track as he begins to consider medical school.
He worked hard for an associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which he received in December 2018, and now plans to attend the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley by the summer in order to complete his bachelor in Biology.
The Associate of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies provides students with a broad-based education in "college basics" that promotes critical thinking skills and allows for an opportunity to make an informed choice in educational preferences.
“To students entering college, I would like to tell them to not be afraid, just take the leap. You have to envision yourself being successful and you cannot be scared. You have to believe. If you don't believe you can do it, then you already lost the battle.”
The program offers transferable field of study selections in arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, computer applications, and mathematics. This field of study is an excellent transfer program that can be used towards the successful completion of a Baccalaureate Degree in any field.
Jose says the degree was an excellent stepping stone into one day entering a career in the medical profession.
“I want to apply to medical school,” Jose said. “While I was in the military, I enjoyed the humanitarian jobs and I really enjoyed helping people. That pushed me into a medical career.
“The future is wide open for me, and I’m looking at several career choices either as a non-invasive cardiologist, a physician radiologist, or even psychiatry,” Jose said.
When asked about what the key to his success has been and what it will take to reach his goals, Jose says success often takes a leap of faith.
“To students entering college, I would like to tell them to not be afraid, just take the leap,” Jose said. “You have to envision yourself being successful and you cannot be scared. You have to believe. If you don't believe you can do it, then you already lost the battle.”