Student Spotlight: Amy Christiansen
Major: Associate in General Studies
Amy Christiansen first started college when she was 17.
She attended for a time but was wooed away by a full-time job. When the paychecks started rolling in, school fell by the wayside.
“My job took me from California to Texas, and it was around 2007 that I started toying with the idea of going back to school,” she said. “In 2008, I made my decision. While I had advanced in my career without a degree, I realized I was more the exception than the rule and that it didn’t mean it would always be that way. Sure enough, in March 2009, I was laid off. I tried to find comparable jobs but didn’t qualify for my lack of a degree.”
Christiansen was considering an online college when she first looked into College of DuPage.
“The counseling staff played a huge part in my choosing COD,” she said. “The counselors who I spoke with were very friendly and personable. They really took the time to communicate with me and help me achieve my goal of getting to graduation.”
Now working at Allstate Insurance Company, Christiansen knew she needed to make the commitment to stick with school no matter how long it would take. She found encouragement from both her professors and her classmates.
“I enjoyed bonding with my classmates and going through assignments, projects and studying with them. There are so many teachers at COD that allow students to come together and learn from each other,” she said. “The connections I have made are definitely what inspired me to challenge myself and learn from my peers, in addition to my teachers.
“COD also had class options that were easy to work into my schedule. I worked full-time during my time at COD, and I was always able to find the class I needed, whether it started at 7 p.m. or if it was available online. This gave me flexibility in other areas to enjoy my friends and family, as well as further advance in my career.”
In 2014, she earned her Associate in General Studies degree. In addition, based upon her strong academic performance, Christiansen was named one of the Outstanding Graduate finalists. Her goal is to transfer into an adult program and earn a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership, which she knows will help further her career.
“Just having my associate’s degree will open up many doors for me within my own company,” she said. “It has taken years to get this far, and I am proud of my accomplishments and how this experience has taught me about myself. I am determined, I am smart, I am achieving a goal.
“I know there are other men and women out there like me – going to school, working full-time, with families. There are so many things that would make it easy to put school off, but they are determined to succeed. I am proud of all of them as well.”
2014 College of DuPage