Student Spotlight: Andrew Wickwire
Andrew Wickwire worked as a project coordinator for Pay By Touch, Inc., and then in marketing and community relations for Whole Foods Market.
However, he wanted something more, and that included a college degree.
“Both of these opportunities were pivotal in my development and understanding of the business world,” he said. “My responsibilities with both companies included community outreach/relations, sales, marketing and project implementation.
“But the thought of going through life without attaining a degree in a trade was very bothersome to me, and I felt it would be something I would regret later in life. So, I entered COD with a focus on Nursing.”
Wickwire earned his Certified Nursing Assistant certificate and began working as a CNA. Seeing people in need gave him a greater appreciation for medicine, and he would someday like to become a doctor.
“I appreciate the roles of nurses and I hold that line of work with very high respect. The scope of practice is what has challenged my decision making,” he said. “I am not infatuated with science – my professors and brothers can tell you that I am no bio geek! But I am very interested in delivering care that patients deserve at little to no cost when possible. Whether here in America or overseas, every person deserves care, and I would love to commit my life to such a service.”
In addition to going to school, Wickwire made a personal change, thanks to the influence of his younger brother Peter, who is also becoming a doctor. Wickwire once weighed 310 pounds but has lost the extra weight; in fact, he and his brother ran the Chicago Marathon together in 2009.
“His commitment to me as a friend and his constant coaching in helping me get back to a healthy point in my life truly impacted me and our friendship,” Wickwire said. “I am not sure where I would have been had I not had someone help me in my weakness.”
Several summers ago, Wickwire found himself on the shores of Liberia volunteering for six weeks in a rural hospital. While spending time in Liberia, he found himself surrounded by depravity and joy. It was a unique dichotomy, he said, as roads and walls were battered by 10 years of civil distress and yet the people found joy.
“This medical missions trip rejuvenated my desire in continuing on the long road toward medical school,” he said. “It also gave me a new perspective regarding management and development within health care that was new to me.”
Wickwire continued taking prerequisite courses at COD, but more changes were in store for him. He currently works in Turkey on a medical start-up and teaches English to first through fourth graders at a private school. He also is applying to physician assistant programs across the U.S.
While Wickwire chose COD for its cost and location, it has given him much more in return.
“The professors in the science department pushed me as an individual and helped me look at things critically,” he said. “Their commitment to their respective fields gave me an outlook on different career paths that I may not have considered otherwise.
“Many of the humanities courses here at COD challenged my faith. They have given me many things to consider about my decision in following Jesus. The multicultural aspect of the school was definitely something to embrace. With all of the different ethnic and religious backgrounds, there is a lot of room for everyone to learn from one another. In light of all this, my faith remains where it was and was strengthened from the conversations I had with fellow classmates and professors.”
Wickwire urges other students to take advantage of the opportunities at COD, particularly as it continues to grow and transform.
“These opportunities will guide and direct the development of our younger generation, which will help lead our nation in years to come,” he said. “What College of DuPage has done and where it's going is truly a testament to the College’s committed faculty and leadership.
“It was a great experience to walk through the new construction day after day, watching this facility grow toward its fullest. It's my hope that the students understand the value that surrounds them. All of us have a responsibility to match the dedication of the COD staff with our diligence in the classroom and perseverance in our respective fields to help make our world a better place.”
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