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Photo of Justin Badua

Degree or certificate program at CLC: Associate in Engineering Science, 2017.

Transfer school, degree and year: University of Illinois; planning to graduate in December 2019

Major: Computer engineering.

Hometown: Round Lake, Ill.

High school: Graduated from Grant Community High School in 2015.

CLC clubs and activities: Math Club and Engineering Club.

Interests and hobbies: Rubik’s Cube® competitions, dancing hip hop and playing video games.


Justin Badua

CLC is the real deal, and its quality exceeded my expectations. The college’s classes are much smaller and more interactive than at larger institutions, where you sometimes have class in a 200-seat lecture hall. It was great to have one-on-one time with CLC professors, who have well-rounded life experiences. A lot of my friends who started at large, four-year universities wished they would have started at CLC to save money and build a foundation academically.

My career goal is to be a hardware design engineer in the semiconductor industry. I want to be at the forefront of advancing computing and finding ways to make computer hardware more energy efficient in large-scale infrastructures.

I’m really excited about an internship at Facebook for summer 2018. I’ll work in hardware validation, which will immerse me in one of the largest data centers in the world. This will be a giant boost for my resume and career prospects in computer engineering.

CLC’s Engineering Pathways program prepared me well for the U of I. The program removes lots of guesswork when planning which transfer courses to take. There are set course lists, and there is a lot of communication between representatives at CLC and their U of I counterparts. They work with you to make sure that your transfer is seamless as possible.  Academically, CLC gave me a great foundation; the same amount of rigor as the U of I, and CLC’s competitive tuition removes a big financial stress.

Michelle Leonard, an engineering professor, is excellent because her classes are practical and hands on. She teaches you the skills you want to learn, shares insights from industry and gives advice on how to market yourself for internships or full-time jobs.

A special-topics class in engineering research was great because I was allowed to pick my own project. I tried to develop and design a computer keyboard that can inhibit carpal tunnel (repetitive stress) syndrome. Jeff Mudrock, a math professor who taught my sections of Calculus III and Discrete Math, is super passionate about teaching and radiates it in class.

Studying in a cohort, with the same group of students for several classes, helped me make friends who have motivated me, too. I also made a lot of friends outside my engineering circles, and we always stay in touch.

By joining the Math Club, I made friends and improved my math skills. Our math games were intriguing and engaging, and we learned the beauty of problem solving. That helped me in my math courses.

Other resources, such as the Career and Job Placement Center, are great. The staff helped me develop my resume and find an internship as an engineering technician at a brake and electronics supplier to the automotive industry. On the job, it was awesome, sitting with a team of technicians and engineers, helping analyze the failure of electronic sensors in diesel car engines.

The new additions and building upgrades at CLC are something the community can be proud of. At the Grayslake Campus, the Science and Engineering Building is providing an exciting new place to learn. The Baxter Innovation Lab will give students freedom to create something hands-on. This is absolutely important for students, because at its heart, engineering is problem-solving and experimenting with different designs.