Juan Carlos Castellanos

Juan Carlos Castellanos

Juan Carlos Castellanos wasn’t sure he was ready to step out into the “big world” after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics. When he decided to pursue a specialization in tax, Cal Poly’s graduate program came highly recommended.

The MS Tax program’s small class sizes turned out to provide the perfect learning environment, he says, where professors were able to use more interactive, Socratic methods of teaching that encouraged critical thinking and active participation. The class settings were also more personal
where he “really got to know my peers and professors in more than just a ‘study and work’ environment.”

While Castellanos found the MS Tax coursework to be very challenging, the support of faculty, staff and fellow students kept him on track, who he describes as “people who really care to see you grow and succeed…and no matter how tough it may have been, the professors were always
there to help you out.”

The work paid off. With an advanced degree in hand, Castellanos now works for an accounting firm in nearby Pismo Beach, where he enjoys a great ocean view while putting his new-found knowledge into practice. And like many involved Cal Poly alumni, he continues to volunteer when he can at the Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) offered to the community by the university.

“Cal Poly has been the inspiration for developing myself further,” says Castellanos.