Showcase - Alumna - Jocelyn Wong-Castellano graduation photo

Jocelyn S. Wong-Castellano


Class of: 2016
Degree Program: Associate of Arts: Criminal Justice

What factors led you to decide to attend Hudson County Community College?
I was born and raised in New Jersey until I moved to Malaysia for about eight years. I came back in June 2013 and did not know where to go I applied to Bergen and Hudson, and I made the choice of going to Hudson since it was affordable and close to home while I could work on the weekends.

What is your favorite memory of the College, in or out of the classroom?
I became a Peer Leader in 2015 and that has trans¬formed me into the best person I am today. If it wasn’t for Dean Michael Reimer who saw potential in my leadership and people skills, I wouldn’t have been the person I am today thanks to him. Being a Peer Leader for two consecutive years has been such a pleasure working with different departments and being that go-to person who students look up to. You never know who you can inspire until you are the face of the College.

How did you become interested in Criminal Justice?
Before choosing a major/career, I wanted to be an air stewardess and travel the world. I mean, I still do want to travel the world, but I want security and a good life balance. My dad ultimately gave the push in telling me to go for something that’s government related. What really made my decision for Criminal Justice was thanks to Professor Jerry Lamb. He’s such a great professor and mentor when it comes to following your dreams and aspirations! My ultimate goal is to be a Special Agent one day.

How did your time at HCCC prepare you for your career/ life now?
Everyone’s path is different, and I know that HCCC is affordable and efficient. My parents never went to college/university, so to be the first in my family to graduate with not only an Associate’s Degree (debt free), but a Bachelor’s Degree was worthwhile! Always make the smart choice when it comes to money because at the end of the day, we want to be debt free from education for a better future.

What is a typical work day for you?
I just started not too long ago as an Admissions Advisor at HCCC. I’ve transitioned from Peer Leader to Front Desk Assistant at CASS to now an Admis¬sions Advisor. I’m still in the learning process of the back end work, but I normally answer phone calls and questions if students have about the admissions process. I was once in their shoes; I want to give back and give as much help as I can since I was not given that help when I first started my college career.

What has been the most memorable project/case you have worked on?
While I worked in CASS as a Front Desk Assistant, everyone is so family oriented and we help one another. Everyone has each other’s backs and that’s what HCCC really stands upon. I wouldn’t change my college experience one bit!

Who are your biggest inspirations that have impacted your work in some way?
Right now, I would say it’s my dad. I lost him in February and I know he’s watching over me and wants me to become a better version of myself each and every day! I get that perseverance and toughness from him, I want to carry that legacy and never give up even with obstacles in my way.

What advice would you give to recent HCCC graduates?
Connect, connect, connect! It’s not about what you know, but who you know. You don’t know if a professor you had ages ago can write your letter of recommendation to grad school! I had a professor at Rutgers and I ended up having an internship with the DEA and I think that’s cool!

What advice do you have for those students who are just starting their college careers?
Be yourself because you are your own legacy. No one can dictate your future. Life is like a roller coaster; there will be ups and downs and loops, and life isn’t perfect. Enjoy the ride because we all only live once. I am a prime example that I’ve hit rock bottom with my dad’s passing and I managed to graduate and make him proud. Anyone can do it; now be a leader for you and make yourself proud!