It’s hard to imagine that it’s been a year since we last spoke with Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing graduate Rose Heredia. When we first met the aspiring writer, she had just been accepted to the University of San Francisco’s M.F.A. in Writing program. Now, a year later, Heredia is in the thick of her full-residency writing program, is active in the campus community and still finds time to take workshops outside of the degree program.
I had some great instructors who inspired me to keep getting deeper into my work.
—On her experience in the certificate program
“I'm involved on campus by contributing to my school newspaper and by being a teacher's assistant for a class, all while trying to navigate the waters of life that keep wanting to get in the way of my writing!” Heredia enthuses. “This summer I'll be working on my novel—Los Sures: The Southside Stories—so I'll be writing during my summer ‘break.’ And I was just accepted into Voices of Our Nation (VONA), which is a writing workshop designed specifically for and taught by writers of color. That workshop will be held in Miami and I'm excited to get away, write in a new environment and see what arises from being in that community. Lots of great things are happening right now.”
Her writing journey began years ago on the East Coast, when she first decided to apply to several well-known M.F.A. programs—but she wasn’t accepted to any of them. When it came time to apply the second time around, Heredia knew what she wanted out of a master’s program. “I wasn't making writing a priority the way that it is now,” she recalls. “Writing is in my foreground, not in the background like it was before.”
Get more tidbits of wisdom on the M.F.A. application process from Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing graduates, including Rose Heredia.
Rose Heredia seizes at life's chances, and that enthusiasm has seen her embrace a variety of creative careers in New York City. Previous attempts to enter an M.F.A. writing program on the East Coast were met with a succession of closed doors. Needing a fresh start, Heredia relocated to San Francisco and redoubled her efforts to start a writing career. Passing by an Extension location on her way to and from work at LiveNation, her inner voice determined her resulting actions: "I need to do this!"
Now a graduate of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing, Heredia appreciates the attention and care that instructors give to their students. She describes Margo Perin, her first instructor, as "supportive, warm and gentle. You wanted to be in her class." She appreciates how instructors such as Laurie Ann Doyle structure their courses similar to an M.F.A. program—good preparation now that she's been admitted to attend the University of San Francisco's M.F.A. in Writing. "I got accepted! If it hadn't been for this program, I would have never gotten in."
Her advice for future students? "Make. The. Time."