Student Spotlight: Pete Surges

Pete Surges

Pete Surges
Major: Graphic Design

Ever since high school, Pete Surges has been into graphic design.

But he didn’t pursue it as a career. Instead, he worked in the automotive field for 12 years until he was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism.

“This consists of severe blood clotting in my lungs and, due to that, I also had pneumonia and an enlarged heart,” he said. “Being on blood thinners put me at risk, because when working on cars I was always cutting myself. So I was forced to leave the automotive industry and embark on a new career.

“I was a bit of confused on what to do as far as a career goes. But after some thought and with advice from my family, I decided why not take the hobby that I love and turn it into a career.”

Surges turned to College of DuPage because he felt it had the best Graphic Design program in the Chicago area. His decision proved to be on target and he has flourished. In 2014, his submission for the Bike the Drive T-shirt competition was selected as the winner, and participants wore that T-shirt during the Chicago race.

After earning his associate’s degree and certificates in 2014, Surges will transfer to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He already secured a job in the field, which will provide experience as he completes his education.

He advises other students to not be afraid of the hard work and to not be intimidated by life’s obstacles.

“The world is full of opportunities. You just have to find the right direction that suits you and go after what you want if you truly want it,” he said. “College of DuPage has given new meaning to my life and what I stand for as a person and a student. The teachers in the program have helped me set goals and pushed me to meet them over the years, and I can only express that I have never been happier with my life.”

More about the Graphic Design program