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Occupation: Electrical engineer and project manager, Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Attended CLC: 2010-12.

Transfer school, degree and year: Illinois Institute of Technology; earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 2015.

Hometown: Long Grove, Ill.

High school: Stevenson High School, 2010.

Interests and hobbies: Rock climbing, backpacking and camping.


Patrick Burgess

I’m an electrical engineer working for a consulting firm that helps communities and companies across the country save energy by implementing energy-efficient technology. Eventually, I’d like to start my own company that helps bring electricity and renewable energy to impoverished areas around the world.

I would not trade my first two years of college at College of Lake County with any four-year college or university. CLC allowed me to self-fund my transition—from a young student who had no career goals into a self-sufficient adult with a plan. By participating in student organizations, I made friends with a fun group of people who, like me, were committed to success at CLC and beyond.

No one ever told me that I had skills in math until I came to CLC, when I earned A grades in pre-calculus and calculus, and a professor complimented me. That started me thinking of doing something with applied math, and I later decided on a career in engineering. 

Outside of the coursework, I was active in the Engineering Club. When an art professor requested energy efficient, LED lighting for his outdoor kiln, we divided our club into two competing design teams: one proposing solar power and the other favoring wind power. The exercise was really beneficial. Each team was given a budget and had to design its solution, write the proposal and present it in plain English to the art professor. The solar-powered lighting proposal won.  

Being involved in the Men of Vision club also was extremely valuable. I served as the club’s public relations representative, and I helped organize projects such as the annual Man Up conference. I’m still in contact with many club members, who have since moved on to careers in companies such as Goldman Sachs, General Electric and Texas Instruments. 

At CLC, I learned: Don’t just tell others what your goals are. Take steps to accomplish the goals. Pick up a magazine related to your field. Volunteer for a cause or get involved in a club. Become more passionate about day-to-day activities and how they lead to your future.