Student Spotlight: Samantha Dando
Samantha Dando’s love of all things mechanical started with her father.
“Growing up, I was surrounded by cars, as that is my Dad's passion,” he said. “He owns a 1970 Dodge Challenger and has been working on its restoration longer than I have been around. He would put a car seat in the car – as I was still too small for a simple seat belt – and take it out on summer nights. I remember loving the rumbling and power of the engine and I still do. I took after him in that aspect, and although I do not have a fraction of the knowledge he has about cars, I'm working on that thanks to COD!”
Dando applied to and was accepted by 15 Midwest schools before deciding upon College of DuPage.
“I chose COD for many reasons: opportunities, cost, convenience,” she said. “The affordability cannot be beat. College is so expensive. I’m responsible for most of that, and my goal is to graduate with as little debt as possible. My return on investment is much higher at COD because the education I’m earning is a fraction of the cost of any other school I was considering.”
So far she is pleased with her decision and the high quality of the Engineering program, including the faculty.
“David Smith could not be more helpful, relatable and knowledgeable whether it comes to colleges, courses or the different majors,” she said. “The path to engineering is extremely difficult, but I am so glad I chose this and am excited to continue the program to earn my degree. The course offerings are great, and it’s almost overwhelming because of how many opportunities and classes are available each semester – the possibilities are endless!”
In addition to her engineering classes, Dando took automotive classes. She has transferred to Bradley University and its Caterpillar College of Engineering, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. She is part of the Mortar Board Seniors Honor Society and on the SWE exec board as Activities Chair. In 2016, she landed an internship for John Deere at Waterloo Works, where she worked as a quality engineering intern. In 2017, she returned to John Deere as a manufacturing engineering intern.
It seems fitting that Dando would like to work with industrial/car engines and related equipment. And College of DuPage is helping her reach that goal.
“When I think of College of DuPage, the word that consistently comes to mind is ‘opportunity,’” she said. “I would just like to say thank you to everyone at COD for the great education I am receiving and for all of the opportunities that are open to me. I absolutely love the campus, the professors and the difficulty College of DuPage offers. It honestly is the education of a lifetime.”
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