Student Spotlight: Marcela Calderon
Marcela Calderon decided attending College of DuPage was the smartest move in the long run.
Being named a Presidential Scholar, which includes a full-tuition scholarship for two years and enrollment in COD’s Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, helped Calderon focus on both academics and athletics.
“I wanted to take advantage of the affordable, valuable education and resources COD offers,” she said. “Because I played on the soccer team at COD, I was able to continue playing a sport that I loved after high school, and now I will get to keep playing at the school I am transferring to.”
While at COD, Calderon was selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to the NJCAA Division III Second All-American Team, which she considered one of her greatest achievements.
“I received this recognition after I played an entire season in a position I was not used to but had significantly more influence on the field than my previous one,” she said. “I worked really hard to make sure I was someone my teammates could depend on to make the right decisions. The award made me feel like all of the work I put in paid off.”
Off the field, Calderon co-founded and worked as a marketing intern for the COD Community Education Fuel Garden, a project aimed at alleviating on-campus food insecurity. Through the COD Foundation, I was fortunate enough to receive the Foundation Textbook Scholarship, the Naperville Rotary Club Charities Scholarship, the Julie Svec Memorial Scholarship, and the Paul W. and Katherine T. Hedburn Textbook and Supplies Scholarship.
“These scholarships gave me peace of mind while I was studying at COD,” she said. “I felt I could really focus on my education rather than worrying about how I will be able to pay for its costs and extensively work to cover it.”
In 2018, Calderon was named one of the College’s outstanding graduate finalists. She is transferring to Roosevelt University to pursue degrees in marketing and political science while playing soccer. She would like to work in brand management for a Chicago-based company and create social responsibility projects that will have a lasting, positive impact on others.
“With marketing, you can apply creative and analytical thinking that you might not otherwise get to in other areas,” she said. “Additionally, it’s a job where you get to see your direct impact on the company brand and its consumers, which can make the work feel really rewarding.”
As for College of DuPage, she knows that she made the right decision and encourages others to be proactive about what they want.
“For me, I knew I wanted COD to be a cost-effective transition before I went to a four-year school,” she said. “When I decided on my transfer institution and my major, I researched the school’s marketing program requirements and used that as a guideline when picking my classes at COD. From that, I was able to complete my associate degree without taking unnecessary classes for my transfer school.
“I’ve learned from a lot of great professors who really challenged me and made me a better student. As for the marketing program, by just taking the introductory classes, I’ve had a really great experience and learned a lot. I was even able to receive some internships based off just from what I learned in these classes, even over students attending other schools who are further in their programs.”
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2019 College of DuPage