Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship Program


The IDEA Engineering Student Center's Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship (TEAM) Program pairs incoming transfer engineering students in the Jacobs School of Engineering with upperclassmen transfer students. This free program is for engineering students who transferred from either a 2 and/or 4 year College/University.

The TEAM program is designed to assist new transfer students (Mentees) in making a successful adjustment to UC San Diego as an engineering student. Mentees will be paired with a Transfer Mentor who will provide you with resources, experience, and the opportunity to connect with other transfer students. The program is flexible and designed to help you make the most of your experience at UC San Diego, as well as provide you with opportunities to build strong connections with the engineering community!

Program Goals

  • Provide individual guidance and mentorship to ease the transition of engineering students transferring to UC San Diego to continue their undergraduate studies
  • Create a supportive and inclusive community for engineering transfer students to develop both professionally and personally through engaging topics, interactive sessions, and thoughtful networking opportunities with UCSD peers, graduate students, staff, alumni and industry
  • Welcome incoming transfer students into the Jacobs School of Engineering community by fostering relationships with fellow students, staff, and faculty
  • Connect participants with the important resources and guidance that support the success of all students at UC San Diego
  • Create a space for engineering students with similar experiences to learn from each other (ALL Events, Trips and Outings planned by transfer students for transfer students)


Arturo Ballesteros-ontiveros, Computer Science 

I am a 2nd-year transfer student majoring in Computer Science. I attended San Diego City College and San Diego Mesa College to save on money and figure out the type of career I wanted to pursue. At community college, I discovered my passion for Computer Science and Engineering after obtaining several opportunities to shadow companies such as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, where I participated in a co-op. I joined TEAM during my first year at UCSD and had the pleasure of meeting my awesome mentors who not only helped guide me in my academic career, but also supported both my personal and professional life. Now in my second year at UCSD, I'd like to help contribute to the academic and professional success of other transfer students.

Paula Kirya, Bioengineering 

I am a third-year transfer student majoring in Bioengineering. I attended Pasadena City College (PCC) immediately after graduating high school to figure out what I wanted to pursue without the financial burden of university tuition weighing on me. The experiences I had while attending PCC led to me rediscovering my childhood love for science and developing an interest in research within the intersection of biology and engineering. This resulted in my decision to transfer to UCSD in Fall 2020 as a Bioengineering major. Since transferring, I have been a McNair scholar and now conduct research as a fellow of the UC San Diego Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). I currently work in the Poulikakos Lab in the MAE department developing methods of quantitatively mapping biological fiber alignment onto structural colors. As someone who spent their first year as a transfer at home, I had a rough transition into student life at UCSD. Having finally reached my last year as an undergraduate student, I have learned and grown so much, and I hope as a TEAM coordinator I can help provide incoming transfer students with the best resources to navigate through this journey.

“Visiting a company and meeting engineering professionals who were similar to me and who also started off at a community college was really inspiring and motivating.”

“Connecting with a transfer engineering student right away, who was in my majorand took the courses I would soon be enrolling in, really helped my transition toengineering. It also helped because my mentor introduced me to faculty in my major and even brought me to her research lab, where I am now working at!”

“Being a veteran student, it was valuable having another veteran engineering student as my mentor. He could relate to me on so many levels and we really formed a lasting bond. We were able to connect on technical skills the military trains you on and were able to use those skills directly in our major.”

Program Expectations/Requirements

  • Attend two group meetings per quarter
  • Meet with mentor at least once per quarter
  • Prepare a two- or three-year plan to informally review with your mentor at the beginning of the program

Program Benefits

  • Make connections and build a network of support at UCSD by meeting other new transfer students, continuing students, graduate students, faculty, industry professionals, and more!
  • Get insider advice on classes that your advisors will not be able to provide, such as tips on what electives to take, suggestions on professors, and when to take which classes from current students in your major!
  • Talk about your experiences and get support from someone who has already gone on a similar path
  • Practice talking to professionals – both academic and industrial!
  • Learn how to gain invaluable experience and how to get involved!
  • Free food!

Program Eligibility

  • Transfer student coming from 2- or 4-year college/university admitted for Fall quarter at UC San Diego


Program Expectations/Requirements

  • Attend two group meetings per quarter.
  • Meet with mentee at least once per quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring).
  • Be proactive in planning meetings and arrangements with mentees.
  • Flexibility with meetings and mentorship style.
    • Be able to meet with students one-on-one, or in groups, depending on scheduling and preference of the MENTEES (not the mentor).

Program Benefits

  • Expand your network of graduate, current, and incoming students.
  • Participate in tours, professional development, social events, and networking opportunities.
  • Establish connections with faculty and industry through networking events, tours, and seminars.
  • Rewarding experience of being a leader and mentor – provide invaluable resources for incoming students to help with their transition, expose new students to resources and introduce major and classes to them, and provide advice and tips for core classes and electives!
  • Free food!

Program Eligibility

  • 2.7 GPA minimum, or circumstances that would indicate overall success despite lower GPA
  • Must be a continuing transfer student who has been at UC San Diego for at least 1 year
  • Must be willing to take an active role in planning meetings and interactions with your mentee


If you have any questions about TEAM, please contact the TEAM Coordinators at