Víctor Sánchez is the co-owner of a modern and thriving Midas Total Auto Care franchise located in the suburb of Evanston, and says that with hard work and dedication he managed to get his business to be recognized as one of the Top 100 Midas Stores in 2016. “And I did that thanks to what I learned at St. Augustine College: to be an excellent professional and try to always be a winner,” added Sánchez, who graduated in 2000, earning an Associate of Applied Sciences in Business Management.

St. Augustine College’s (SAC) Associate in Applied Science in Business Management prepares students with a solid academic foundation in accounting, business concepts, and other skills needed to work in a dynamic and competitive market. Students will find career opportunities in the field of government management, private enterprise or non-profit organizations. Graduates of this program will develop skills in: effective decision making; problem resolution; organization and planning; and understand accounting methods.

“I was a young man of 19 years, uncertain with what I wanted for my future, when one Sunday, at the end of Mass, the priest said that orientation was being offered for young people who wanted to improve their future through education,” Victor recalled. That day he went to the presentation at the request of his father, who always looked after him and his brothers “because we were Hispanic and we lived in the Uptown neighborhood where there was a lot of gang activity. He had us well disciplined and monitored. Thanks to him, I stayed away from bad company and was able to make good decisions, like going to St. Augustine College to study a career,” said Victor, who was born in Mexico City and came to the United States at 10 years old.

Victor said he had no need to look for other study opportunities at other Chicago colleges because he was delighted with SAC. “The staff was very friendly and at all times helped me down to the smallest detail. I registered quickly, I qualified for financial aid and soon I was a student. It was very easy,” he acknowledged.

“It was the best decision I made, since they not only taught me how to run a business but how to succeed, how to believe in myself and in my abilities,” he said. “The study was not hard, it was basic and the teachers helped me a lot because they cared not only that I did my homework, but they encouraged me to become a better person, making sure that as a young man I would not fall into bad habits and bad company. They helped me in everything and I’m very grateful,” said Victor. After graduating, he went on to work at a Toyota car dealership where he earned $9 an hour, but gradually took advantage of the many opportunities at hand and rose to become a repair manager.

“In 2008 I was encouraged to accept a high school friend’s challenge to start a business of our own, since he was a mechanic from another car dealership. He’s called Víctor Sánchez, like me, but we’re not related. We joined his skills and experience as a car mechanic with my training and experience as manager of a car repair business. So we opened the Midas Total Auto Care franchise at 2410 Dempster St. in Evanston,” he said. “I did it with confidence because I always had many ambitions to succeed because it was what I was taught at St. Augustine College. That’s why I always tell everyone that I am a former student of SAC. It makes me proud.”

BY EDUARDO ALEGRIA

ENGLISH VERSION EDITED BY ALEJANDRO RIERA