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Your CLC Success Story


Jose Aguilar
Waukegan High School

(Class of 2008)

Hometown: Waukegan, Ill.

Degree or certificate program at CLC: General Education

Transfer school, degree and year: Columbia College, Chicago; B.A. in film, cinema and video studies; graduated in 2013

Interests and hobbies: Filmmaking, networking and traveling

Initially I planned to attend Columbia College in Chicago right out of high school, but I needed to keep in mind my budget. A career in the film industry generally isn’t financially stable right away for new graduates, so I wanted to make sure that the career was something that I really wanted, and not just a temporary whim. So, with the guidance of family and friends, I decided to go to CLC and take my general education classes. CLC allowed me to explore majors and be sure that I truly wanted film and video before spending the money on college courses in the field. While at CLC, I continued to find ways to build my film and video skills by making short videos for Latino Alliance.

I consider myself a wearer of many hats in the film and video industry. I’ve been hired to cast a series of short films from an adaptation from the book “Sophia” by Christopher Velis. I also work as a production assistant at Evoke Productions. My most recent success was being hired to be part of the operations team for Univision Chicago local news and training to become a technical director. I love learning and soaking in all the knowledge my coworkers have to offer. Even though I am extremely busy, I am loving every minute of it as I reach and aim for higher levels and bigger goals.

One person at CLC who was definitely a great influence was Rodolfo Ruiz-Velasco, advisor for Latino Alliance. His amicable presence and guidance definitely helped and encouraged each of us in the club to succeed and excel. I was very much involved in the club, where I was treasurer and participated in many activities. One memory that stands out for me is the taco sales that raised money for our group. I was the head coordinator and had to create publicity, organize a team to execute our goal and make sure we were profitable. This helped me work on leadership and communicating effectively with a team.

I definitely made new friends at CLC, and some good, strong friendships with people whom I keep in touch to this day were made in Latino Alliance. Just by working together constantly, we created an unbreakable bond.

Coming from high school, where one is used to interacting only with teens around your age, and then having to collaborate on projects with older adults was definitely an eye opener. The same goes with CLC’s overall diversity in ethnicity and culture. You meet people from all walks of life. It was a great preview of what instructors called “the real world.” Experiencing CLC’s diversity helped me interact with others at Columbia College.