Student Spotlight: Saif Sarvana
Saif Sarvana chose College of DuPage for many of the same reasons others do -- its strong reputation, affordable cost, small class sizes, great professors, excellent facilities and flexible scheduling.
Now he's the envy of his friends who went from high school to a four-year school.
"The overwhelming majority of my friends and acquaintances who did not attend a community college for their general education courses regret it," he said. "Not only do you save money but the quality of education provided by COD is the same if not better."
Sarvana is also taking advantage of a program that he might not have found at a different school. Because of COD's long-standing association with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) program, Sarvana will spend the 2013-2014 academic year studying and working in Germany. He is one of only 75 students in the U.S. selected from more than 600 applicants for participation in this year-long, federally funded fellowship for study and work in Germany.
"Ever since I was a young child, I've had the desire to travel and see the world because of my interests in other nations and cultures," he said. "Also, with the world globalizing at unprecedented rates, programs like these are very important for students aspiring to go into the field of business."
While in Germany, Sarvana will attend a two-month intensive German Language course located in Radolfzell, followed by a nine-month stay in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where he will attend a German university or professional school for four months and complete a five-month internship in his career field with a German company. Sarvana added that he also intends to travel extensively around Europe and develop friendships and networking opportunities during his stay.
He said that the CBYX program will not only afford him the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream, it will also be particularly beneficial preparation for entry into the workforce of today. It's an opportunity that will fit into his major of accounting and finance, where a global understanding of the marketplace will be highly beneficial.
After his time in Germany, Sarvana will transfer to a four-year school and obtain his bachelor’s degree. He then wants to work in the financial industry while obtaining his MBA and someday own an investment company.
While he selected College of DuPage for the obvious reasons, Sarvana gained far more than he ever expected.
"I met so many people at COD who influenced me positively. They helped me in school and kept me away from the wrong crowd," he said. "I was interning at a bank in Oak Brook, and COD -- being conveniently located in Glen Ellyn and offering a flexible schedule -- allowed me to continue to work there.
"If you decide to go to COD, take advantage of what the school has to offer. Get acquainted with your professors, preferably in your field. For example, I want to go into business so I am staying in touch with my accounting and economics professors. You can benefit from their insight and build professional relationships which will help you in your search for a career.
"You should also find out about opportunities and pay attention to the announcements. It’s been a dream of mine to study abroad but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to. Then I heard about this scholarship and now my dream of not only studying abroad but working abroad will be fulfilled."
2014 College of DuPage