A Bay Area native, Magbitang graduated from Carondelet High School in May 2004. That September, she enrolled at UC Irvine, but after being there for just a few months, she withdrew from school and moved back home.
“I don’t see that as a setback,” she said. “Rather, I looked at it as a second chance to reevaluate where I belonged.” She searched the Bay Area for schools to apply to, and ultimately registered at Diablo Valley College. “That was the best decision I made for myself,” she said.
Magbitang started at DVC in January 2005, majored in nutritional science, completed her studies in May 2007, then transferred to UC Berkeley in August. She graduated from UCB in May 2009 with a degree in Nutritional Science with an emphasis in toxicology and metabolism. She then returned to DVC from August 2009 to May 2010 to finish three prerequisite courses before starting optometry school.
“In my two and a half years at DVC,” Magbitang said, “I took advantage of the opportunities and resources available to prepare for my transfer to UC Berkeley. The smaller class sizes enabled me to focus on my courses and get personal help from the instructors. Being a science major, I had a lot of lab work, so I got to know other students really well.” Developing those relationships led to a lot of outside group study, which helped her to prepare for exams.
“I attended workshops that gave generous tips to enhance my study and personal skills,” Magbitang added. “I also worked closely with my academic counselor, Ms. Vilas, to make sure I was on track to complete my required courses. I believe that DVC prepared me well for my transition into UC Berkeley.” While a full time student at DVC, she also was able to work part time to support herself and her family, which helped to enhance her values of independence and self-sufficiency.
Magbitang started at the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton in August 2010.
“I am working towards finishing my degree as a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.),” she said. “I am currently in my second year, and will finish in May 2014. In the future, I hope to work in private practice in the Bay Area, and am also interested in exploring a residency in Vision Therapy or Contact Lenses.”
Magbitang said she would definitely recommend DVC to other students. “DVC is a place for students to grow and develop,” she said. “The resources at DVC are endless, and if a student takes advantage of those opportunities, I am sure he or she will be successful. From the instructors and tutors to workshops and counselors, DVC has it all. Everyone there is working hard to provide students with ample help and guidance. My experience at DVC allowed me to mature as an individual, grow academically, and prepare myself for the next step. I look forward to coming back to the Bay Area, working at my own private practice, and serving my community by helping people preserve their vision while giving them compassionate eye care.”