search button
newscenter logo
Friday, May 7, 2021

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Daphne Joie B. Calaguas Daphne Joie B. Calaguas

#SDSUGrad: Daphne Joie B. Calaguas

In the fall, recent graduate Daphne Joie B. Calaguas will attend SDSU's Postsecondary Educational Leadership: Student Affairs graduate program.
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University’s community has shown its true resilience during this unprecedented and difficult time in human history. 

Graduates from the Class of 2020, in particular, have risen to the challenge.

In this series, we highlight graduates as they prepare to embark on the next chapter of their lives, including those who have secured jobs and internships or are moving into advanced studies. SDSU Career Services continues to offer resources for students, including the new online career platform Handshake and expanded virtual programming and advising.

Daphne Joie B. Calaguas
Degree: Sociology 

Can you describe a little bit about yourself and how/when you decided to pursue your area of study?

I have been working in Commuter Life within Student Life and Leadership since my first year at SDSU. I was paired with a mentor through the mentoring program offered by Commuter Life and I began to see the value in peer-to-peer support and became a mentor myself. Once I became a mentor, I had the amazing opportunity to work with graduate students from the Postsecondary Educational Leadership: Student Affairs (PELSA) graduate program here at SDSU. Working with them and seeing the compassion they brought to Student Life and Leadership, specifically to commuter students, encouraged me to do my part and be there for students like me. It was during my third year when I officially set my goals to applying to the program.

When did you decide to pursue a graduate degree and what did that process entail? What are you specifically looking to do?

I started the process of applying to graduate school in the summer of 2019. I conducted informational meetings with faculty, staff, and past graduate students of the program to ask about their view of supporting students, and their advice for an aspiring student affairs professional. In October 2019, I submitted my application and in January of this year, I submitted my personal statement, cover letter, resume and letters of recommendations.
During mid-February, the PELSA program held a two-day social event where potential admits of the program were invited to mingle with each other. Each recipient had an interview for the PELSA program and for a possible graduate assistantship. After those two days, it was time to wait.
When did you receive your official acceptance, and what was your reaction when you received it?
I received my acceptance letter on March 2. I remember the moment I received it like it was yesterday. I was in a large lecture class in Peterson Gym. I opened my email and I saw the title of an unread email, “MA Postsecondary Educational Leadership & Student Affairs – Admissions Update.”
I immediately closed my laptop and asked a friend to watch my things as I prepared to take a step outside. My heart was racing as I was walking toward the outdoor area behind my class. I sat at a bench and opened the email on my phone and finally read that I was accepted into the program. I was so happy I cried, I called my partner, I was jumping up and down by myself in the courtyard. I was so happy and proud of myself. It was a really powerful moment for me to have and I can’t express how special it was.
What advice do you have for fellow students, regardless of their field, looking to jumpstart their lives and head to graduate school, post-graduation?
My advice would be to go for it. I think that once you have that fire in you, go pursue your education. I also would advise that you look into something that you genuinely want to be knowledgeable about. As much as we say to get a better job, I think you will enjoy your experience in graduate school if it is in something you want to learn or learn more about. 
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is to be true to myself. I know it sounds very cliché, but my mentor who told me this emphasized how important it is to be your authentic self and to always be genuine. 

We live in a world that is constantly saturated in a reality that forces us to question our worth and value. I think that loving yourself and accepting who you are (flaws and all) will help people around you to start seeing the light in you. It’s like a ripple impact. Doing things, saying things, and listening with your heart has always kept me grounded and true to who I am as a person, and for the change I want to see in the world.