Student Spotlight: Jess Lies
Architecture has been a big part of Jess Lies’ life ever since she was a little girl.
“My parents own an interior design firm,” she said. “I remember several family dinners when napkins became the vellum for the latest project sketches.”
Lies decided to attend College of DuPage because of its great transfer reputation with renowned architecture programs at four-year schools. This allowed her to finish the first two years of her degree with little to no debt.
“COD offers knowledgeable professors, direct contact with professionals and four-year school representatives, and a family environment where you get to know your professors and your classmates on a personal level,” she said. “Also, due to the economic feasibility of COD’s courses, I was able to in take advantage of a study abroad opportunity in Italy with my architecture teachers, seeing the architectural wonders I had learned about in class.”
Lies transferred to Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where she followed a five-year program (between a bachelor’s and a 4+2 bachelor’s and master’s program) to earn her professional degree in architecture. Before graduating, she received a job offer as a program director/architectural assistant at RGLA Solutions, Inc. in Schiller Park. She also is studying for her LEED certification and the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE).
Her dream is to pursue her passion of architecture around the world where she can experience, live and work in many different cultures.
Lies credits College of DuPage’s Architecture program and faculty for helping her meet her goals by providing the knowledge and skills required to continue her education and begin her career. She also received the help to build and develop an artistic portfolio, which is required to enter Architecture programs at many transfer schools.
“COD offers an amazing opportunity for high school students who are either unsure about what degree they want to pursue or for students who are interested in architecture and wish to build up a portfolio so they can then transfer,” she said. “I would suggest knowing your transfer options so you can follow the specific transfer curriculum from the time you start at COD.
“Being in the position and level I am today, I could not be any more happy with my decision to study for two years at COD. I escaped several years of heavy financial burden as well as obtained education awards and certificates which then helped me obtain automatic scholarships upon entering IIT.
“Due to the hard work and concentration on my studies, I became part of the Alpha Beta Gamma honors society which automatically entitled me to a nice scholarship from IIT. My GPA at COD also helped me. At IIT, additional scholarship is awarded with a direct relationship to one’s transfer GPA; therefore, the higher your GPA, the more scholarship money is awarded upon acceptance. I am thankful that because of my studies and hard work at COD, more than half of my school tuition is now paid by IIT.”
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