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Major: International business administration.

Transfer school: American University of Paris; planning to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2018.

Hometown: Born in the Philippines; moved with family to Lake County at age six.

High school: Graduated from Warren Township High School in 2014.

High school clubs and activities: Yearbook.

Interests and hobbies: Reading, watching movies, hanging out with friends.

Darla Centeno

I chose to major in international business administration because of the variety of career opportunities. I’m also minoring in philosophy, economics and political science. I’m excited to study the intersection between all three subjects and how they affect us globally. In terms of a career, I can go into politics, start my own business or work for an international corporation. 

Today, studying abroad is very important because the world is getting smaller and the economy has become globalized. I’m really excited about the chance to spend two years at the American University of Paris. The school is very diverse, with students from China, India, Europe and Middle Eastern countries in addition to the U.S. I will gain invaluable exposure to future business people from around the world. If you don’t understand another person’s philosophy and culture, you will have a rough time in the world of international business.

CLC was the perfect fit for me because it’s a great way to save money while I’ve taken general education courses and decided on my career goals. If you’re undecided on a major, why spend the first two years of college at a four-year school, which has a much higher tuition? All the general education courses that I’m taking at CLC transfer to my four-year program.

At CLC, I have had good professors and I’ve enjoyed all the classes, but one of my favorites was American Politics with Professor Ribhi Salhi. He is very passionate in helping students learn about politics and how to become engaged in the process. That’s important, because as the world becomes more interconnected, it’s important to understand the policies of the U.S. and other nations.

Leslie Hopkins, who was my professor for both Introduction to Philosophy and Asian Philosophy, is very passionate about teaching. She kept students very engaged by encouraging group discussions on the assigned readings.

When I was writing an application essay for the American University of Paris, I appreciated the input from my English professor, Mike Latza. He helped me bring out my best self on the essay and show who I am as a student and as a person.

The One Million Degrees Scholarship has helped immensely in financing my CLC education. I’ve received much more than financial aid. As required by the program, I and the other students have made full use of college resources, including advisors, counselors, tutors and the Career and Job Placement Center.

I’ve also used CLC tutors. A physics tutor was very helpful in making the material easier to understand. English tutors helped me revise papers, and when I was applying to four-year schools, the tutors helped me write write essays that showcased who I am and how I could contribute to each school. I and other students in my cohort attended one Saturday workshop per month, on subjects ranging from getting through struggles to using proper dining etiquette in business situations.

Outside of class, I really grew as a person by serving as vice president of the Social Action Club. We did a lot of fundraising and volunteering, and one of biggest events was providing dinner for the homeless during the December holiday season. I organized efforts to contact local businesses that donated food items and raffle prizes, and we worked with a Lake County homeless shelter and a local church social hall to set up a space for the dinner. After being involved in the club, I’m more comfortable speaking to a larger group, taking responsibility and managing time.

At CLC, I made new friends, and the Grayslake Campus has an excellent library, which includes private study rooms that can be reserved. I also enjoyed the study area behind the Robert T. Wright Community Gallery of Art.

After I earn a bachelor’s degree from the American University of Paris, I would like to get an M.B.A. and either work in international business or maybe go to law school.

If you’re just starting out at CLC and are undecided on a major, take a variety of classes in as many subjects as you can. If you are even remotely considering a four-year degree, it’s best to meet with an advisor or counselor early at CLC to make sure that you are taking courses that are fully transferable.