Esteban Vela

Sonya Cortina poses for her Student Story photo.

Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Business Management

After graduating from Prosser High School and earning her associate degree in 2011, Sonya Cortina started her career working for a local farm company before switching gears and taking an office job at a dental clinic.

During that decade, she worked with several managers – some who inspired their staff and others who decidedly did not.

“After years of feeling overlooked or underappreciated in the positions, I realized I wanted to become a manager for others to look up to,” Cortina said. “All of these experiences have taught me who I wanted to become in the future and in order to do so I needed to continue my education.”

When her employer went through a restructuring in 2019, Cortina decided it was time to expand her career opportunities and reached out to Yakima Valley College to begin pursuing her bachelor of applied science degree in business management (BASM). YVC’s bachelor degree programs cater to students, like Cortina, who have already earned an associate degree and are interested in strengthening their skillsets for in-demand jobs.

The day Cortina was let go, she called Yakima Valley College and spoke to BASM Program Coordinator Pedro Navarrete.

“I was undecided about getting my bachelor’s degree but realized a change needed to be made to further my career and knew this was the time,” she said. “I ended up driving to the YVC Grandview Campus that same day and applying to be a student again.”

Cortina is now closing in on her dream of becoming a manager. Along the way she’s had to overcome barriers that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet Cortina has found success in YVC’s program and hopes others will also push themselves to follow their dreams.

“I remember starting the program thinking two years is a long time but now being a few months away from graduation I am so happy I did pursue this program. Every quarter I tried my best to pass the classes necessary for the BASM program and [having] that feeling of accomplishment after every passing grade. After being on the Dean’s List and President’s List, it was such an incredible feeling that your hard work is being noticed. Looking back to that moment and thinking how just next week I start my last quarter of the program is…well, it puts a smile on my face.”

She graduates this June and looks forward to starting her career in the Tri-Cities area.

“I feel that who you work for makes a huge impact on your success and drive at your job. Even if you don’t have the greatest job in the world, those who you work around can make it a job you enjoy.”

Interested in getting started at YVC? Visit our admissions page or request information.