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Photo of Vivian Sandoval

Name: Vivian Sandoval

Degree or certificate program at CLC: Associate in Engineering Science, 2012

Major: Engineering

Transfer school, degree and year: University of Illinois-Chicago; B.S., bioengineering and biomedical engineering, 2014; University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2019.

Hometown: Mundelein, Ill.

High school: Stevenson High School, Class of 2010

Interests and hobbies: Running mud/obstacle courses; Latin dancing

Vivian Sandoval

I'm excited to have passed the bar exam and to have found a position in September 2019 as a law clerk at a Chicago law firm. Eventually, I would like to be a patent attorney and work with inventors. 

I enjoyed working as an engineer for almost two years, but in planning my future, I wanted to build my writing and speaking skills while still staying technical and using my engineering degree. Additionally, I wanted to make sure that I would be able to make an impact on volunteering and helping my community in my future career path. Pursuing patent law seemed like a perfect fit!  

While I attended CLC, two engineering professors—Margie Porter and Michelle Leonard—were my mentors in the Scholars program and helped me believe in myself when I was pursuing engineering. Margie gave me my first engineering project and Michelle helped me navigate through my first career fair. 

Rob Twardock, also an engineering professor, was a mentor who helped me build confidence in my abilities to be an engineer. He also helped me plan Engineering Club meetings when I was the group’s president.  

CLC's Scholars program ensured a well-rounded college experience. I enjoyed the activities, such as discussions on current topics. In particular, we read and discussed the best-selling book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” (The book, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is a call to arms against the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.) 

Learning more about issues, such as sex trafficking in other countries, motivated me to stay focused on my studies because I felt more privileged to have the opportunity to study. 

Outside of class, I made a lot of friends from Latino Alliance and in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Serving as vice president of membership for Phi Theta Kappa allowed me to attend conferences and meet people from different schools.  

Additionally, the TRiO team (a federally funded program offering success-supporting services) and Rodolfo Ruiz-Velasco, multicultural student access and success coordinator, helped me build self-confidence by allowing me to assist others as a peer mentor. 

I still am very good friends with many of my friends from the Engineering Club. This was one key to my success at CLC because my engineering friends and I had two tables where we sat and did homework together in the library. It was nice to have a support system of people with whom to talk through the engineering problems.  

When I was in high school, I found the cost of starting at a four-university to be prohibitive. After more research, I decided to start at CLC because I was extremely impressed by the amount of opportunities students are exposed to at the college—and how much support they receive in achieving their goals.