Major: Computer Science
Hajara-Yasmin Isa revels in challenging herself.
“I’m constantly trying to come up with a faster and easier way to accomplish a task,” she said. “I love logic and algorithms—hence why my favorite game is chess. One of my favorite quotes, ‘The more you know, the more you know you know nothing,’ I believe is built into my system. I yearn for knowledge and love to see advancement, and I believe the future is created when we think outside the box. Computer science offers me just that challenge.”
Isa decided to enroll at College of DuPage because it provides a quality education at an affordable rate. Family and friends also encouraged her to start at COD for its many opportunities and location close to home.
Her experience at COD was like no other.
“I genuinely feel prepared for my next step,” she said. “Through the organizations I involved myself in, I learned so much and I’m confident in advancing to the next stage. I believe the opportunities I came across at COD, such as serving as the president of the Student Leadership Council, becoming a member of Phi Theta Kappa and joining the New Student Orientation Leader team, taught me to increase my comfort zone and spend more time in my learning zone.
“Each aspect of my life at COD brought forth a different type of growth. SLC helped me develop as a leader, a team player and gave me techniques needed to succeed in corporate America. The honors courses helped me increase my endurance academically and non-academically. Through my semesters at COD, I saw myself develop and grow. With the help of faculty who currently work in the field of my major, I was able to get great insight as to what is to come.”
Isa transferred to the University of Illinois at Chicago to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science with an emphasis on artificial intelligence. In 2020, she interned at Productive Edge, a software firm in Chicago, and she currently is working on research under the umbrella of under-resourced languages in tech.
She would like to continue her education through a Ph.D. and then work with people who are ready to advance the world.
“I want to be with people who like to think outside the box and like to challenge themselves,” she said. “I am planning to start my own organization in Northern Nigeria to help bring technology and technical education to the younger generation.”
Her advice to students considering COD is to take control of their destiny.
“The pencil is in the hand of the creator, so start writing,” Isa said. “Our lives are our own unique books. Whether you are interested in professional, educational or personal development, COD is ready to help you succeed as long as you are willing to put in hard work. Stay on top of your academic work and try to do what you can in advance—trust me, it will come in handy. Learn your habits and use them to work for you and remember every day is a new day for you to grow.
“I am so happy I started my first two years at COD because it is a great institution to begin your educational career.”