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Meet Sam Mayorga

When Sam Mayorga chose to forego a four-year university and instead start off his higher education at MiraCosta College, he never could have guessed where that decision would take him.

It all began with ambitions of pursuing a career in healthcare. The son of a father who built a successful career as an emergency room nurse and a director of emergency hospitals, Sam always assumed he would end up becoming a doctor.

From freshmen to senior year at Sage Creek High School, Sam took a host of biomedical pathway classes. He learned lab techniques, body systems, and the intricacies of anatomy. And even volunteered at UC San Diego in the cardiovascular intensive care unit.

All signs were pointing toward premed and the university track. But as most students know in today’s age, the financial challenges of attending a four-year university loomed large.

As Sam approached high school graduation, he found himself at a crossroads.

“The closer I got to applying to colleges, the more and more the total cost became intimidating,” shared Sam.

Instead, with a desire to avoid crushing student debt, he made the strategic decision to enroll at MiraCosta College and later transfer to a university. The choice offered a unique blend of cost-effectiveness and the chance to explore different academic paths without the burden of exorbitant fees. Best of all, the cost-friendly courses allowed Sam to explore other subjects and diversify his experiences.

Recalled Sam, “I decided to take a few biotechnology classes since I already had some experience in that area, but I was also thinking about going the business route.”

Before MiraCosta College, Sam dabbled in entrepreneurism by founding his own reselling business and knew that might be an area he wanted to explore further. And it was this diversity of experience that helped shape the next few years.

“When the pandemic disrupted the world, a lot of local companies in San Diego started growing and the biomanufacturing industry expanded exponentially,” said Sam. “I decided to dig in at MiraCosta College to complete my Lab Skills Certificate and get my biomanufacturing degree so that I could be ready to take on those types of roles here locally.”

Even though he was still in school full-time, Sam was ready for the next challenge. Within weeks, while still working toward his MiraCosta College degree remotely, Sam was starting an internship at Argonaut Manufacturing Services, a local biomanufacturing company.

“I remember feeling comfortable right away,” explained Sam. “My supervisor had me doing tasks that I was already confident in thanks to my classes at MiraCosta College. I was well prepared for everything they threw at me.

Continued Sam, “It was the perfect combination. Because the virtual class environment during the pandemic limited some of the activities we were able to practice, Argonaut Manufacturing Services gave me extra hands-on experience in the industry I wanted to pursue.”

As time passed, Sam took on more responsibility and excelled in his role. So much so that the supervisor who originally hired him for the internship came calling again.

Recognizing Sam’s talents, the hiring supervisor recruited Sam to join him at the new company he had just moved to.

Even though it was a new role in a new field, Sam was all in. As was his nature, Sam embraced the challenge at the new company, Active Motif, and started taking on more and more responsibility. Until one day he saw an opportunity that blended his expertise and his passions.

While networking with leaders at Active Motif, Sam learned about a new inside sales role that was opening up at the company. Sam enjoyed the lab work he was doing, but his passion for business never faded. Using the skills he developed as a young entrepreneur, Sam took on the sales role and quickly showed his value. Combining his business acumen with his hands-on experience in the lab and biomanufacturing training at MiraCosta College, Sam brought the perfect perspective and skills to the job.

Today, Sam is thriving in the biotech industry in San Diego and largely attributes the support at MiraCosta College for his immediate success. He recently graduated with a biomanufacturing bachelor’s degree and Latin honors and has already been promoted at Active Motif.

Said Sam, “MiraCosta College helped me move up the ladder quickly. There’s no doubt it was the best choice I could have made. The flexibility that MiraCosta College’s Biomanufacturing program gave me, combined with the timing of the pandemic, gave me an amazing opportunity to work in the industry throughout nearly my entire time in college.”

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