Student Spotlight: Njabulo Nzima
Major: Architecture and
As a child growing up in South Africa, Njabulo Nzima became intrigued by the structure of buildings.
“The interest I had in architecture and construction started at a young age,” he said. “My fascination with it continued to grow when I learned there was a career path in what I loved.”
For Nzima, pursuing his desired career became possible when he was selected to participate in the Community College Initiative, a program that provides scholarships to international students to spend up to one academic year at U.S. community colleges and build technical skills in their fields of study.
Through the CCI program, Nzima came to College of DuPage in the summer of 2017 to study Architecture and Construction Management and gain skills to help him lead a construction project effectively or even manage a construction business. He described the environment at COD as welcoming.
“The staff made me feel like I was at home,” he said. “It was the warmest welcome one could ever receive. They also had an interest in learning about my country and about me as student. They showed that they cared about me.”
Nzima dreams of starting a construction company that will commit a share of its profits to developing communities like the one in which he grew up, as well as a separate nonprofit organization that helps empower people in those communities by providing key resources such as shelters and educational opportunities to impoverished children. He said COD has prepared him with leadership and human interaction skills that will be useful as he engages and interacts with people in different environments.
Nzima, who is now studying building and civil engineering in South Africa, plans to return to College of DuPage in the near future to complete his certificate. He said that he would recommend prospective students considering COD not to hesitate and give it a try.
“Architecture and Construction Management at COD is the best,” he said. “The most important thing that COD has offered me is an education that is up to date with industry standards. The projects we were doing were really preparing us for the working world, which is what employers are looking for.”
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