Congratulations, Eric Lund, Wright College’s 2015 Valedictorian!
2015 graduate Eric Lund will serve as Wright College’s Valedictorian at the May 2, 2015 City Colleges of Chicago Commencement Ceremony. A part-time student who works full-time as a financial analyst, Eric plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he has already transferred.
Eric is a native of West Springfield, Massachusetts. At age 20, he moved to Atlanta, where he spent 20 years before moving to Chicago five years ago. Read more about Eric’s successes, challenges and advice, below:
How do you feel about being named as Wright’s 2015 Valedictorian?
Eric: It was a complete surprise, but I feel very honored. I have taken classes with some very smart people, so it was unexpected that I would be picked for this honor.
What brought you to Wright College to pursue your degree?
Eric: Getting my degree has been a personal goal for a very long time. When I moved to Chicago, I felt like it was finally time to enroll and work on getting my degree. I also think that my career has been somewhat limited because I do not have my bachelor’s degree in a field that normally requires one. My hope is that by completing my degree, my career options will widen.
As a relatively new transplant to Chicago, how do you feel about the city?
Eric: After twenty years in the south, Chicago winters were a shock, which is one thing I will never get used to. However, Chicago seems like a great, vibrant city with a lot to offer, and I am enjoying living here.
Which people and/or student resources did you find helpful at Wright?
Eric: One of the last classes I took at Wilbur Wright was a Managerial Accounting class. My professor, Alex Mendoza, took the unusual step of letting me lecture on the topic of budgeting. I created a budget template and presented it to the class, then took questions. Being in the position to actually “teach” for an evening pushed me to make sure my lecture was accurate and interesting.
Also, when I was taking some of my math classes, I used the tutoring services available at Wright College. I found this to be extremely helpful. I had not taken algebra in more than 25 years, so having the resource available was extremely important to me. I found the people working in the tutoring center to be very knowledgeable and always willing to help you out. Although, being a much older student, there were a few times when I was mistaken for one of the teachers, which was always a funny conversation.
What advice would you offer your fellow students looking to succeed, overcome challenges, and get the most out of their college experiences?
Eric: Never give up. There were times where juggling a full-time job and classes felt like an impossible task. Some nights it felt like an incredible chore to sit down, open up a book and start reading. I found that making a schedule and sticking with it was my own best advice. Even on those nights when I was completely exhausted and wanted to take the night off, I forced myself to do it. Often times, once I sat down and started reading, I would get immersed in the subject matter, and before I knew it I was finished for the evening.
However, everyone is going to have those subjects that just don’t click for you, and it feels like a monumental task. For me, Biology was that class. I found that taking it in smaller chunks helped me. Sometimes I would break up my assignment for the week over several days, allowing myself to absorb the material in smaller amounts at a time. By taking it slow, and staying committed to the process, I was able to overcome the challenge.
Look for Eric at the May 2, 2015 City Colleges Commencement, where he will represent Wright College as our 2015 Valedictorian. Congratulations, Eric!