Student Spotlight: Jose Alferez
Major: Associate in Arts
When Jose Alferez saw the job listing for an admissions representative at College of DuPage, he knew it would be a perfect fit for him.
A veteran of two tours in Iraq, a first-generation college student and a College of DuPage graduate, Alferez knew his background gave him the right tools to help students in a variety of ways. And that appealed to him.
"Being at College of DuPage just makes sense," he said. "I work with Latino and first generation students who may not have considered higher education. Part of my job is to help them start pursuing their goals and dreams."
Alferez was born in Mexico and grew up in Chicago, attending Farragut High School. He wanted to enroll in college and decided the military would give him that opportunity. He ultimately spent four years with the Marine Corps and served two tours in Iraq.
"I had an opportunity to lead other marines overseas," he said. "I learned how to get my priorities in order, which meant I had to be organized and manage my time in order to help as many people as I could."
Upon returning to civilian life in spring 2007, Alferez moved into his parents' home in Hammond, Ind. He needed to find work and decided the flexibility of attending a community college would fit best with his plans. So he started researching schools online, and College of DuPage kept surfacing as a top community college in the Chicago area, even though he wasn't familiar with it.
Alferez enrolled at COD and began classes that fall, at first commuting from Cicero and then moving to Glen Ellyn.
"I was close enough where I could walk to classes," he said. "The veterans group was terrific, and I really loved the school."
After finishing his Associate in Arts degree, Alferez transferred to Northern Illinois University and earned a bachelor's degree in International Politics in May 2011. By this time he was married and his wife, Diana, was working in COD's Office of Student Records.
When he saw the Admissions job posting, Alferez knew it was a natural fit.
"I never lost that connection with COD," he said. "I'm really excited that I can help people pick out what they want to study and get them started. I have an open-door policy, and I look forward to working with as many students as possible."
2014 College of DuPage