Student Stories: Olyvia Lennox

Olyvia Lennox

Major: Political Science

Olyvia Lennox chose a career based on her upbringing.

“I grew up in the Middle East and attended high school in Germany, so I wanted to major in something that incorporated an international aspect as well as my love for political science,” she said. “I found that international relations was the perfect major for me.”

Attending College of DuPage made perfect sense to Lennox, especially from a financial standpoint.

“I didn’t want to graduate from college with a ridiculous amount of debt to pay off, when I could instead go to COD and take basically the same gen ed classes that a regular four-year institution would offer,” she said. “And even though I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was 14 years old, I wasn’t ready to attend a four-year college, and COD served as a perfect in-between step.”

What Lennox received was a solid education and a foundation for her future. She enhanced her critical thinking skills and developed new ones, such as giving and writing speeches. She also found assistance at the Learning Commons, especially with writing college application letters.

Honors Program at COD

Experiences in the Honors Program and Model UN club helped Lennox grow as a student and provided an opportunity abroad.

“Because COD is such a big school, it’s helpful to have a program that is more personal and can connect you to more people,” she said. “Taking Honors classes is a great way to meet people who are deeply interested and involved in a specific subject, which creates an atmosphere more conducive to learning.

“I also enjoyed my Model UN experience. I had never participated in Model UN in high school, but I joined the club at COD through the encouragement of one of my friends, and it has been one of my favorite parts of attending COD. I have met some of my closest friends through the club and developed crucial skills, like how to give a speech, interpersonal skills and how to write using formal language. I also got the opportunity to attend conferences in Chicago and the Netherlands, and my experiences there helped solidify that international relations is the right major for me.”

I had never participated in Model UN in high school, but I joined the club at COD through the encouragement of one of my friends, and it has been one of my favorite parts of attending COD.

Olyvia Lennox

Lennox is transferring to Georgetown University and will major in regional and comparative studies.

“My dream career is to work for the State Department as a foreign service officer—essentially a diplomat. However, before I get there, I would like to gain experience in other fields first, such as working for non-governmental organizations or think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations or the Middle East Institute,” she said. “And someday, maybe after working for the State Department, I would love to become a professor and impact students the way my professors have impacted me at COD. I especially would like to thank Dr. Les Wolf, Dr. David Goldberg, Dr. Maureen Heffern Ponicki and Dr. Chris Miller for encouraging me, believing in me, and pushing me to grow and achieve more.”

Lennox would recommend COD to all students, whether they don’t yet know their majors or careers, whether they do but want to save money, or whether they want to attend college at a slower pace.

“The beauty of COD is that you can take a wide variety of classes from different fields of study, and this is really your opportunity to experiment, try out different things and see what you enjoy and what you don’t,” she said. “With that said, it can also be easy to slip through the cracks at COD, so I would highly suggest that students join Model UN or another club to get the most out of their COD education.

“If I hadn’t gone to COD, I would not have received the encouragement from my professors to apply to more competitive and prestigious schools, and I would be on a very different path from the one I’m on now. I also became very good friends with people I otherwise wouldn’t have met, and they are perhaps the most important thing I gained from my COD experience.”

Learn more about the Political Science program at College of DuPage