Student Stories: Princess Siafa

Princess Siafa

Major: Mass Communication

Princess Siafa cannot pinpoint what first interested her in journalism, but she has never wanted to do anything else.

“Although I am not particularly interested in sports now, when I was 11, I would perform live commentary for my brothers’ football games in front of our house,” she said. “After each game, I would grab my microphone—a piece of stick—interview them and report to a live audience of our friends.

After Siafa moved from Liberia to the U.S with her family, her sister recommended College of DuPage.

“It was not a deliberate decision but a convenient option for me,” she said. “My sister, my brother and I all applied to COD, and it is one of the best decisions I have made.”

Student Life at COD

She balanced full-time work with being a full-time student, which was not easy. But Siafa found opportunities like the Career Ready Scholar program offered through the Career Services office that prepared her for the future.

“Before the Career Ready Scholar program, I did not have an active LinkedIn account; have an updated, professional resume; or even know how to write an effective cover letter,” she said. “During the program, the staff at Career Services were supportive throughout. I and other scholars had access to VMock, Big Interview and a group of people who were never tired of helping. At the end of the program, I was ready for interviews, I completed my first job shadow ever, I learned to network and, icing on the cake, I got a free suit!”

Through the program Siafa also met Bob Lapinski from Career Services. He immediately introduced her to Jim Fuller, the advisor for the Courier, COD’s student newspaper.

“Jim welcomed and introduced me to the rest of the staff at the Courier and helped me publish my first piece,” she said. “As I continue to guest write for the Courier, he and other staff members encourage me to write by offering valuable critique and letting me know exactly how to improve my writing. This is helping me create a portfolio and ace my classes at DePaul.”

As she continues her journalism studies at DePaul University, Siafa also works at the Inn at Water’s Edge, located in COD’s Culinary & Hospitality Center, where she covers the front desk, helps with housekeeping and trains interns. Because she enjoys it so much, Siafa is considering completing a certificate in hospitality at COD.

The instructors are not only thorough, but they also care about you and your career goals.

Princess Siafa

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Siafa would like to become a news anchor and educator, like Emmy Award-winning correspondent Marley Kayden, who also co-hosted “Chicago’s Best” on WGN.

“As I continue studying journalism, I remain fascinated by how simple, yet so complicated, the task to inform the public is,” she said. “What has kept me on this path is how much I want to affect change where I am from. Seeing journalists in Liberia do so much with so little inspires me.

“It may sound like a pipe dream, but I want to eventually start a College like COD in Liberia. Being a student and now staff at COD has opened my mind to just how much is missing in my country’s educational sector. When I attended college in Liberia in 2017, there was no career services center, student-run newspaper or even media studio space to practice journalism. I want to provide my COD experience to students in Liberia who desperately need it.”

As for students considering COD, Siafa said they will not regret attending because the school has so much to offer.

“When I started COD, I was new to the country, the culture and the people here. I thought I would have a hard time adjusting, but it was surprisingly easy,” she said. “COD is diverse and inclusive. You will always have help when you need it, be it instructional, career wise or social needs. The instructors are not only thorough, but they also care about you and your career goals.

“I am reminded of my favorite quote from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: ‘If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.’ My mom constantly reminds me of a quote from Norman Vincent Peale that became her mantra: ‘Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.’ With the help of professors and counselors, I completed every semester with honors. I can’t stress enough how much more confident I have become.”

Learn more about the Mass Communication program at College of DuPage


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