Zharit Brand Robles
University of Redlands, Class of 2023
Paly, Class of 2019
Paly, Class of 2019
On April 22, Zharit Brand Robles graduated from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California, with degrees in Business Management and Spanish.
Looking back at her four years in college, Zharit credits the university for making her transition from high school to college as smooth as possible. “University of Redlands has a great support system,” says Zharit. “The first-gen program reached out to me right away and invited me to a summer bridge program before I started college.” The program included about 60 students split into two groups. Although University of Redlands is a small school, with 2,700 undergraduates, navigating a college of any size can be a challenge, especially for students like Zharit who are the first in the family to pursue a college degree.
Zharit is thankful that Paly also prepared her well for the college transition. She worked closely with the staff, including counselor Crystal Laguna, during her time in high school and learned how to ask for help when she needed it. Being a part of the AVID program, a small cohort for college-bound students at Paly, was also important to Zharit.
While at University of the Redlands, Zharit was able to maintain her grades while also working on and off campus. She was a tutor for a local elementary school and also worked at the Office of Campus Diversity and Inclusion. Although she started as a psychology major, she later switched to business management and Spanish. Zharit says that choosing classes and navigating the academics in college was not difficult, since she had people she could ask for help if needed. “I was lucky to have a mentor at college who is a friend of mine from Paly and a year older. It helped to know someone who was familiar with the school already,” explains Zharit.
She also adds, “I liked that the college is small. It helps to know your classmates well, especially when you have a lot of group projects (as a business major).”
At the end of her junior year, Zharit landed a one-year internship with Dolby Laboratories, a Bay Area company that designs and manufactures audio and imaging products for the TV, movie, broadcast and entertainment industries. Working at Dolby’s Deal Desk, Zharit helped with contracts and related issues. Zharit is now applying for jobs in Southern California and hopes to find something soon.
When asked to reflect on the past four years, Zharit says that she is “extremely grateful” for all the help from the community, especially the scholarship support she received from two local organizations – Rise Together Education and Pursuit of Excellence. “I don’t think I would have made it through four years of college without everyone’s support.”
Congratulations, Zharit, on your college graduation and best of luck in the future!