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 intern 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 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 graduated with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and, after taking a little time off to travel, she obtained a job at Frigel North American in East Dundee. Frigel is an Italian company that specializes in process cooling for plastic injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming and extrusions.
“Our Ecodry 3DK closed loop adiabatic liquid cooler is designed to replace traditional cooling towers and reduce water and energy consumption,” she said. “Since my time at COD, I realized I wanted to go into a field that focused on alternative energies and innovative technology, and that’s exactly what I found with Frigel. I have the opportunity to apply my design abilities by integrating our equipment with our customer needs through 3D and 2D modeling software, as well as build and enhance my project management abilities and learn how to work globally with our offices and customers around the world.
“Frigel has even given me an opportunity to continue my education by having me take Italian classes at the Italian Cultural Center in Chicago and combine my love for travel with my career by giving me the chance to work for a few months at our headquarters in Scandicci, Italy, at the end of this year.”
Because she credits College of DuPage for providing a strong base for continuing her education and starting her career, Samper advises students to start their educational careers at COD.
“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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2015 College of DuPage