Matthew Kinsley’s interest in math came from his parents – his mom is an accountant and his dad a mechanical engineer.
“They pushed me to work hard in math and helped me join the advanced math program during elementary school,” he said.
His success in math continued through middle school and into high school. However, during his junior year, Kinsley felt overwhelmed by his class load and withdrew from the honors trigonometry and pre-calculus course. This meant he was unable to take calculus during his senior year.
“It was an absolutely massive hit to my academic self-confidence,” he said. “Math had always been a subject that I felt confident in. But after withdrawing from the advanced math track, I felt like a failure until I got to calculus in college. Luckily I had some amazing professors who were able to help me recapture my love for math.”
Kinsley selected College of DuPage for a variety of reasons. He earned a Presidential Scholarship, a full-tuition award that meant he could transfer to a four-year university as a junior without debt. He also wasn’t ready to leave home.
“As a senior in high school, I thought more and more about going away to a four-year university and it honestly terrified me,” he said. “I don’t believe I was emotionally or mentally mature enough to handle going away to college at that point in my life.”
At College of DuPage, Kinsley decided to major in biology in hopes of attending veterinary school. However, after his third semester, he re-discovered his love of math during his Calculus I, Calculus II and statistics classes and enjoyed them more than biology and chemistry.
While at COD, Kinsley was nominated for the All-USA Academic Team and was recognized at a banquet in Springfield. He was the service coordinator for the Phi Beta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and organized five bone marrow registry drives, during which 100 students signed up to help a COD alumni diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal disease.
Kinsley transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was the treasurer of the math club, M.A.T.R.I.X. (Mathematical Advancement Through Research and Idea Exchange), and a member of Tau Sigma, the transfer student honors society. He also was Head Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in spring 2019, after which he spent the summer working as a quantitative research intern at Morningstar, Inc., and became familiar with the financial applications of econometrics, statistics and machine learning.
After earning his bachelor’s degree with honors in Mathematics, with a concentration in Applied Mathematics, Kinsley is now working as an analyst at Deloitte. He is more than happy with his selection of College of DuPage and how it helped to prepare him for his career.
“Picking a major can be incredibly difficult, and it is rare to find someone who knows what they want to do for the rest of their life as a freshman in college,” he said. “At a four-year university, some students feel stuck with their initial choice of major because it would be too expensive to start a new degree. But College of DuPage gives you an opportunity to change your path if you are not satisfied with your current academic direction.
“Through amazing professors and advisors, I reached all of my educational and personal goals thus far, which has positioned me for long-term success in my career. COD acts as a springboard to both four-year universities and the workforce. The small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from your professors and to interact daily with your classmates. Also, the fantastic academic resources for students, including the Learning Commons and the Math Assistance Center, are included in your tuition and help you succeed in your classes.”