Student Spotlight: Dana Richards
Hometown: Glen Ellyn
While still in high school, Dana Richards began her own photography business, Dana Ann Photography.
"With the connections and relationships I'd built, I knew that it would be to my advantage to attend a local college," she said. "I'd gained much experience in photography in the years leading up to college, but business is not necessarily something that can be as natural or innate. I knew that is where I needed to invest my time and money."
At College of DuPage, Richards began building her knowledge not only for her marketing degree but also to apply it immediately to her business.
"I enrolled in accounting classes my first semester at the College in order to keep track of my own accounting," she said. "Jeannie Folk, my professor for both financial and managerial accounting, was a huge help in developing my skills and was willing to answer any questions I had related to my business. To this day, she still inquires about my business, which I personally think says a lot about the faculty and staff at COD -- they truly care about the success of their students."
Richards also appreciated the variety of courses and the accessibility of the campus, which eased the balancing act of pursuing an education while running a business.
"This season at Dana Ann Photography, we are launching our wedding videography services," she said. "I enrolled in an Adobe Premier film editing course. Though it isn't a prerequisite for my degree, it has value that I can directly apply to my photography business, which to me is worth much more."
Richards is excited about seeing her business grow and is thrilled that she has learned so much at College of DuPage.
"This year, we have booked weddings across the United States -- in New York City, Colorado, Texas, Michigan and Illinois," she said. "In the years to come, I'd love to utilize my education in marketing to better promote my business internationally. We are building our niche in the vintage/rustic wedding realm and, with our videography services, I am excited to see the new ways in which my wedding photography company will grow!"
2014 College of DuPage