Student Stories: Rebecca Bretaña-Barzyk

Rebecca Bretaña-Barzyk

Major: English

Rebecca Bretaña-Barzyk always knew she wanted to be a writer, and College of DuPage was a logical step in her education.

“COD had a variety of courses, proximity to my home and, because of the cost compared to public and private universities, my parents were able to assist me in funding my time at COD – for which I am eternally grateful,” she said. “COD was my first and best college experience.”

While at COD, Bretaña-Barzyk was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, which helped her receive scholarships after she graduated. Earning an Associate in Arts degree, she initially attended a small private university but decided to transfer to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This also put her closer to friends who commuted to or lived in the city.

“COD paved the way for my journey through secondary education and into my career,” she said. “COD is a perfect jumping off point for anyone looking to further their careers.”

Bretaña-Barzyk graduated from UIC with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a minor in Classical Studies. Through positions for a multitude of industries, she grew her knowledge of marketing and writing for businesses.

After working for Diversified Labeling Solutions as its Content Marketing Manager, where she managed all internal and external communications, Bretaña-Barzyk is now at CNH Industrial. She initially was an Internal Communication Specialist, creating articles for the company intranet, magazine and digital newsletters. Now she is the Business Communications Manager under the IH brand and tells data-driven stories through business presentations and reviews.

“It’s a fast-paced, rewarding job that involves a lot of collaboration. I didn’t think my writing career would have taken me in this direction, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

She currently is earning her Masters in Professional and Creative Writing from North Central College. Her ultimate career goal is to manage her own marketing department and work her way to a C-level position. 

As for COD, Bretaña-Barzyk encourages others to take advantage of what it offers. 

“College of DuPage is a great place to gain the soft skills that really make a difference in your job performance,” she said. “More and more, employers are valuing how well a person communicates, thinks through problems and their ability to lead. Whether you’re still considering what you’d like to do after college or know exactly what you want, this is the perfect time to hone in on those skills and talents that make you stand out to employers.

“My time at COD set me up for success in a way I didn’t realize until after I transferred to a larger university. COD has incredible resources, faculty and staff. Looking back, I’m glad I made the most of my time there.”

More about the English program