Where He Started
Ryan Martinez adapts to change. From 2006 to 2010 he had several different jobs as an active-duty Marine. He spent time as a turret machine gunner, a battalion safety and health officer, and a heavy equipment mechanic. “In the Marine Corps, you get used to being very flexible, he says.
Many service members struggle with the transition into civilian life. They miss the community and sense of accountability they had in the service. Martinez rediscovered that community at UC San Diego Extension, where he studied occupational safety and health. “I had a very smooth transition process," he says, "and a lot of it was attributed to that community of support I found at UC San Diego.”
After UC San Diego Extension, he earned an MBA at the University of Southern California. He now works with Extension’s Occupational Safety and Health Department and teaches safety courses at businesses around the country. He has taught thousands of students in hundreds of locations over the years. “In today’s economy, you can’t be just a singular entity,” he says. “You’ve got to have a range of skills.” He’s also using his experience and know-how to help develop the school’s Cal/OSHA curriculum.
What He Learned
“If you want to jump-start your career or move in a different direction, having a certificate or some professional education from UC San Diego Extension really gives you a talking point. It gives you that credibility.” The aspects he misses most from his time in the Marine Corps—engaging with people, being part of a team and working under constantly changing circumstances—he has found again through his career. The key, he says, is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. “If there’s something that makes you uncomfortable, jump right in and conquer it and you will be stronger.”
Learn more > osha.ucsd.edu