The following testimonials are from COD students who have participated in the Nontraditional Careers program at College of DuPage:

Lisa Sandstrom

Lisa grew up on an Indiana farm, where she learned at an early age to work with her hands and repair things. After earning her college degree, she spent a year at a television station doing tape duplication and satellite feeds, and gradually worked her way into the heating and cooling profession. She has been with Trane for more than 13 years, starting at an entry level position and progressing to technician, senior technician, and project manager. She would eventually like to go into field management.

"My job can be very physical. We need to be able to carry a 12-foot wooden ladder and we sometimes work exposed to the elements on the roof."

Julius Thawemor

Julius grew up in Micronesia and traveled extensively as a child. While taking English and computer classes at COD he decided to meld his interest in travel with his enjoyment for working with people, and he entered the college's Travel and Tourism program. His education led to his current position with American Trans Air. His goals are to become a manager for the airline and eventually work for the Federal Aviation Administration as an inspector.

"Even though about 95 percent of the employees in my position are female, I haven't experienced discrimination or stereotyping or inequalities."

Patrick Arends

With training in nursing, fire fighting and emergency care, Patrick has a wide base of knowledge that gives him the option of following several different paths. His nursing education and experience provide an overall study of the patient and health. His goal is to continue his education and then use his combined experience to one day move into a management position in the health field.

"As a paramedic, bringing patients into the ER, I wanted to be able to follow up and experience the next level of care as an emergency room nurse."

Jennifer Myszkowski

Jennifer loves cars and it shows in her job and in her schooling. She is learning automotive technology at College of DuPage while working in the automobile industry with a division of General Motors. Her goal at COD is to become a certified auto repair technician, and then she wants to take that knowledge to move ahead at General Motors. In her current position with G.M. she works with customers' extended warranties, where her knowledge of auto mechanics is a big plus in handling claims.

"I wanted to take my passion for cars and use it, so I decided to go to school and study automotive technology. I really enjoy the program."