Student Spotlight: Nathaly Samper
Major: Chemistry, Engineering
Nathaly Samper knew she wanted to study engineering. She just wasn't sure what field to pursue -- or where to pursue it.
However, after receiving College of DuPage's Presidential Scholarship, Samper knew what the right place was for her.
"College of DuPage was the economically smart choice," she said. "Also, as part of the scholarship, COD helps transfer students by involving them in the Honors Program and motivating them to maintain a good GPA. So I knew that by going to a community college, my future educational career would not be hindered in any way. Instead, it would be a huge stepping stone toward my career goal."
While at COD, she discovered chemistry and also participated in an internship at Packer Engineering working on its innovative Green Fuels Depot project, which converted agricultural and yard trimmings into energy. This work helped Samper decide to pursue mechanical engineering, specializing in alternative energies. Her decision was heartily supported by her professors.
"Honestly, to this day, my favorite professors are at COD," she said. "At COD, the classes were smaller and professors could take a personal interest in you, something I greatly appreciated. Many professors at COD helped me by giving me advice for the future, setting up networking opportunities, and even giving me the opportunity for internships in areas I was interested in.
"I had no problem transferring to Purdue, where I could finish my four-year degree in Mechanical Engineering. Also, COD set up a great foundation to work from once I was at Purdue. It helped me reach my career goals because I was able to internship at Northwestern University in its MRSEC program, thanks to Professor Richard Jarman, and attain hand-on experience."
After transferring to Purdue, Samper obtained a summer internship at Hobart Brothers, ITW. She also joined a multicultural sorority, Omega Phi Beta Sorority, and served as its president. She also studied abroad in China, which provided invaluable experience and helped her think more globally. Purdue also selected Samper as part of its "5 Students Who Move the World Forward" series in 2014, posting an interview with her online and even hanging posters around campus with her photo. She considered it a great honor and a major opportunity to network with both peers and alumni.
Samper will graduate from Purdue in 2014. As her favorite classes have been design classes, she hopes to find a job that will allow her to combine both research and design.
Because she credits College of DuPage for providing a strong base for her courses at Purdue, Samper advises students to let COD initiate their educational careers.
"The programs will be great foundation toward whichever degree you choose in the future," she said. "My biggest piece of advice is if you know you want to transfer to a university and finish your degree, make a list of schools you want to attend. Then start working with COD's counselors and the transfer universities' counselors to make sure that as many of your classes transfer and you are doing everything you need so you won't fall behind."
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