Harper graduate follows Engineering Pathways to an aerospace career
Attending Harper College is the best decision Guillermo “Memo” Quillo almost didn’t make. He was an academic star at Palatine High School and, he admitted, a little arrogant. “I had a really high GPA, in the top 30 of my class,” Guillermo said, and he aspired to receive a full-ride scholarship to Princeton, Yale or Northwestern. So he applied to Harper’s Engineering Pathways program at the direction of a high school counselor who told him he could study engineering for two years at Harper, then transfer seamlessly to University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Today, Guillermo is an associate systems engineer at Collins Aerospace’s Commercial Avionics team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At the start of his Harper career, the college paired Guillermo with a Harper counselor and a U of I counselor.
As a Pathways student, Guillermo was part of a cohort that made going through the program better. “That gave me an enhanced community college experience, closer to the four-year institutions, where you’re always on campus,” he said. He was also part of Harper’s Society of Engineers and the Honors Program. “That was one of the coolest experiences in community college,” he said. In high school, Guillermo was a part of Project Excel, which worked with minority students with promising test scores. This was especially helpful for Guillermo because his parents grew up in Mexico.
In fact, that familial support was part of what made Guillermo such a great candidate for EB211, Gerry said. And he knew Guillermo would succeed from the first time they met, when Gerry asked, “What courses are you taking?” Guillermo shared that he tested out of Calculus I, so he was taking Calculus II, as well as a physics course. Guillermo graduated with his associate degree in engineering at Harper in spring 2018. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in May 2021 and now works at Collins Aerospace in Iowa. “That really taught me to appreciate every aspect of my education,” he said, “and not to overlook anything.
Read full article at Harper College News