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Photo of Alexis Massman

Occupation: Electrical Engineer.

Hometown: Born in Cary, Ill.; raised in Lake Villa.

High School: Grayslake North High School, 2012.

Years at CLC: 2012-2014.

Transfer degree: B.S. in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University, 2017.

Hobbies and interests: Playing volleyball and working out.


Alexis Massman

As an electrical engineer for Baxter International, Inc., I’m fortunate to be working in my dream job right out of college. I work with a research and development team for intravenous (IV) pumps and other medication delivery products.

Much of my passion for the medical field stems from my childhood. When I was younger, my grandfather had a prosthetic leg and was limited in his mobility. Knowing how much prosthetics can impact a person’s life, I decided to conduct research on synthetic prosthetic devices during my undergraduate career. That experience only solidified my love for medical devices and engineering.

At CLC, I had a phenomenal time, and I always give it my highest recommendation. I couldn’t afford to start at a large, four-year college, but at CLC, I received a scholarship through the Honors Scholars program, and I had a terrific educational experience. Nick Schevera, an English professor, was such a great mentor, always encouraging us to try something new. In an Honors Scholar Seminar class (HUM 299), we explored how competition affects education and other areas of life. Several professors came and explored the topic from their own specialty, from English to humanities to sciences. It was really interesting to hear the different perspectives.

In the Honors program, we were a close-knit group of students from different majors and backgrounds, and we formed friendships that last to this day. It’s an amazing experience when you surround yourself by students who share your motivation to succeed.

I changed my major right before transferring. (Scary, I know.) At the time, I was studying civil engineering because I was intrigued by large infrastructures. But after taking a memorable class, Physics II taught by Dave Boyke, I began to have second thoughts. When discussing career paths with Dave, he assured me that I had a future in engineering even when I doubted my abilities. I never thought I was smart enough to go into electrical engineering, but that class proved otherwise. He was one professor who boosted my confidence and after that, I was an electrical engineering major on my way to NIU.

I always struggled with writing, but luckily the Writing Center was extremely helpful when I needed to write essays, resumes or college application responses. Rather than doing all the work for me, the tutors made sure to teach me all the tips and tricks to make my time spent in the center more valuable. To this day, I always recommend that students be proactive and utilize all tutors across campus before it’s too late in the semester.

Being involved on campus increased my motivation and success. At first, I didn’t like the idea of going to a community college while all my friends went off to four-year universities. Instead of sulking around, I chose to do something about it and make a lifestyle change. I tried out for the volleyball team, became a student ambassador and a tutor in the AutoCAD lab where I helped engineering students with their coursework.

I discovered that the more I was involved in extracurricular activities, the more successful a student I was. Being active across campus brought me closer to the resources and support I needed. By retaining that mindset, my transition to Northern Illinois University was seamless.

I couldn’t have asked for a better transition to NIU. The counselors at CLC told me what to expect, and even though I changed engineering majors, I had a seamless jump. There were no surprises when I arrived at NIU.

I’m extremely excited about the new Baxter Innovation Lab planned for the Grayslake Campus. Offering students hands-on activities will reinforce classroom learning and allow them to be more successful. CLC has one of the best pre-engineering programs, and having the new lab will set CLC apart from other colleges.

For the U.S. to be competitive in a global economy, it’s extremely important for more American women and men to be educated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Just about every product we use daily, from the food and water we consume to the houses we live in, begins with designers who have engineering or STEM backgrounds.

If you’re interested in a STEM-related field but have math anxiety, know that help is available at CLC. And you don’t need to earn straight A grades in math to be successful. My math skills were not always A-level. As long as you are confident in yourself, work hard and seek tutoring or help when you need it, you can achieve your goals.