Alyssa Haroldsen’s love of building things led her to engineering.
“Seeing all of the math I’ve learned manifest itself as something useful is a beautiful feeling,” she said.
Haroldsen was 15 when she first came to College of DuPage.
“It was the most inexpensive option available that offered higher-than-high school classes,” she said. “I've learned things that I could never have learned at a high school.”
After earning her Associate in Engineering Science from COD and graduating with high honors, Haroldsen studied computer science with a focus on security at Brigham Young University. She was able to transfer her associate’s degree and knock out most of her gen eds, leaving her only three classes short of a math and physics minor.
COD provided a wonderful and inexpensive base for my success in higher education.
Haroldsen landed an internship at Google, and after earning her bachelor’s degree, she was hired there full-time as a software engineer with a focus in security. She currently works on security chip firmware in Rust.
She ultimately would like to develop usable security systems with a master's degree from MIT. Haroldsen credits COD and its Engineering program for providing a solid foundation for her education.
“For any subject, go to the teachers who teach the highest-level courses at COD. They obviously have a drive for their subject and care about their students,” she said. “Most of the good ones have master’s degrees or Ph.D.’s and love their subject and students. The class sizes are small and there are no TAs, so you’re guaranteed a more personal experience.
“COD provided a wonderful and inexpensive base for my success in higher education.”