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Published on December 13th, 2016 | by editor


Get to know Carolina Verdial

Carolina Verdial – Associate in General Studies (2010)

After graduating from high school in Honduras, Carolina came to Chicago to pursue a degree in architecture and engineering. She was living with her cousin’s family while her parents were still in Honduras. During her first semester at Wright, she saw a flyer for a national Hispanic televised quiz show competition posted around the building. After applying and being selected for the City Colleges team, she studied diligently in between class breaks and after school to be well prepared for the day of the competition. There were six other community colleges and universities from other parts of the nation competing against Carolina’s team, and the day of the Hispanic Quiz Show Bowl they won first place.

As a result of their national triumph and the recognition it brought to City Colleges, Carolina was offered a position working as a student ambassador at the Advising and Transfer Center. One of the greatest fears she had to overcome as a student ambassador was public speaking. She had to frequently give tours across campus, and although she tried to avoid it as much as possible, she still had to mingle with groups of new students and their families. This was an experience that made her grow more confident about sharing who she was with strangers. Later, when she transitioned to the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), she was comfortable enough to constantly present her projects in front of her colleagues, professors and guests, and she continued giving tours to new students at the university.

Her job on campus at Wright opened a number of great opportunities as she built a network of people from different academic and administrative departments that helped her decide about her major and transition into a university. With the help of her advisors in the Advising and Transfer Center, her architecture instructors, Professors Marriot and Nurnberger, as well as her parents, she made the decision to pursue a career in architecture and minor in structural engineering.

She kept learning more about herself as she got involved in extracurricular activities at Wright. Some of those student organizations were SHPE, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and the Abacus Architecture Club. They all had one thing in common and that was traveling. This included traveling locally to different places in Chicago, field trips across the U.S. and even Europe. The FermiLab, Walt Disney, New Orleans and Austria were among the places Carolina traveled to learn more about the jobs, cities and people she could potentially work with. Participating, connecting and engaging in and outside of the classroom helped her greatly to excel as a student.

When she transferred to IIT, she was nominated by the president of Wright College to be one of the first students to receive the $25,000 Presidential Scholarship. The scholarship not only gave her monetary advantage but also granted her an opportunity to do research, which in architecture and urban planning is vital for the advancement of future cities. Two years later after completing her research at IIT, she won first place in her field and visited the University of Belgrade in Serbia to present her research. Mexico, Ghana, The Netherlands, Turkey are a few of the countries she visited as she was studying at IIT. One of Carolina’s travels involved designing and building a dormitory space for a high school in one of the poorest sectors in Ghana. Her job not only involved making digital 3D models or digging holes for the foundations, but this experience also helped her build her self-confidence and altruism and develop perseverance.

She graduated with a BS in Architecture from IIT and currently work for Sarfatty Associates, LTD as an architectural intern. Her immediate career plans include attaining her architecture license and becoming more involved in Chicago-based architectural programs such as Open House Chicago and Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago.

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