Joe Vitone understands the invaluable discipline of analytical and logical thinking. It’s these skills he is now applying to a career in economics, and it’s these same skills he used in selecting College of DuPage.
“A key way that I make decisions is to weigh costs with the benefits associated with them. As a result, it was in my best interest to go to College of DuPage,” he said. “In addition to that, I wanted to spend as little time in a dorm as possible, which just made the decision that much easier.”
Vitone also was named a Presidential Scholar, which included a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD’s Honors program and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.
“Receiving the scholarship provided a good incentive to aim for academic excellence,” he said. “It also is a good example of the generosity of all the contributors who make these scholarships possible. There is a lot of good in society despite the image that is usually portrayed.”
Vitone was interested in history and political science growing up, and economics is a discipline that complements both of these subjects. He likes the fact that economics is not just a mathematical or business discipline, and he wanted to learn applicable skills for the workplace, such as problem solving strategies, analytical strategies and critical thinking.
He actually credits his first boss for providing invaluable skills that aren’t taught in the classroom.
“I learned things like professional interaction, real responsibility, which has consequences for another individual’s livelihood, and real-life problem-solving skills,” he said. “My boss gave me the opportunity to polish all of these skills and taught me business practices along the way. I feel that I am much more prepared for the real world, and for that I will always be grateful for the guidance and opportunities my first employer gave to me.”
Vitone transferred to DePaul University and earned his BSB degree in Economics. Graduating summa cum laude, he received the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key, awarded each year to the graduating senior with the highest GPA in a business discipline. He started his career as a data analyst at AECOM, where he was an intern during his senior year, and now works as a data scientist at Caterpillar.
College of DuPage continues to provide Vitone with a cost-effective education, as he completed the Desktop Database Proficiency certificate and an Associate in Applied Science in software development. He continues to take classes that he finds interesting.
“My main advice to students thinking of attending COD is to have a good game plan when you enter, and have your classes lined up for transfer,” he said. “There are countless networking opportunities which are beneficial for all aspects of life. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and gain valuable skills. The communication and social skills that I learned from the Forensics program are useful in any career field. Give 100 percent in everything that you do, and it will pay off.”