Name: Beatriz Zizumbo
Position: Academic Counselor, Ventura College East Campus
What does that entail?
I have the expertise to assist students with course selection, educational planning, and questions concerning requirements for majors, general education, graduation, or transfer to a four-year college or university. I help students identify and succeed in achieving their educational, career and personal/life goals. I meet with students individually and in groups to help them navigate student support services and academic options. This job also gives me the opportunity to interact with students in the classroom. I teach COUN V02 Career Exploration and Life Planning.
My counseling position provides me the opportunity to get to know the students on a different level. I learn about their families, their dreams, and their challenges, and they allow me to be part of their lives to guide them and provide resources to help them accomplish their goals. I see my job as an opportunity to help others achieve a dream job, just the way I was helped. Paying it forward.
How long have you worked for the district?
Three years as student worker, 15 years as classified, and in June it will be 5 years as faculty.
Were you a student at one of the district’s colleges and if so which one?
I am a proud Pirate. Ventura College East Campus opened the door to my educational journey, and I graduated from Ventura College in May 2001.
What was your major and your degree?
I obtained my AS in accounting from Ventura College. Then I transferred to California State University, Channel Islands for my BA in Spanish with a minor in Chicano studies and another minor in business. I obtained my MA in counseling and guidance from California Lutheran University in 2015. It took me 19 years from when I started taking classes in English as a Second Language (1996) until the day I graduated with my master’s degree (August 2015).
There were a couple breaks in between because after every degree I felt that was the end of the road for me, but there were always people along the way that supported, encouraged, and challenged me to continue my education. I am very grateful for their mentorship and support because that is the reason I am in my current position. Maybe that is the reason I feel passionate about my job, because I want others to have that support and encouragement to continue their education.
Are you from the area and if not where are you from?
I was born in Santa Paula, but I grew up in Michoacán, Mexico. I came back to Santa Paula when I was 18. At that age, I was already married, I was pregnant with my first child, and I did not speak English. Needless to say, I felt like a total failure. My main frustration was the language barrier, but I managed to get a job in a factory as a sewing machine operator. That was the only place I was able to work without any experience. I started working 40 days after my daughter was born. I worked there for two years. Then I decided that was not the kind of job I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I started my educational journey at Ventura College East Campus, and since then Ventura College has been my home away from home.
Share something personal about yourself: (ex: pets, hobbies, what are you currently watching/listening to and why you enjoy it)
I have been married for 27 years to Daniel. We have three children: Danya, 26; Ricardo, 20; and Nilo, 8. Besides my education, my other accomplishment was to be part of the Ballet Folklorico Mestizo of Oxnard College. I joined the group for 6 years and it was an amazing experience. I stopped dancing because I was pregnant with Nilo and because I was about to start my master’s program, but I miss dancing and the camaraderie of the group. Now my main hobby is to watch my boys and husband play soccer and to live a simple life.