Student Stories: Amy Kolesar

Amy Kolesar

Major: Travel and Tourism

Amy Kolesar always thought air travel was exciting, and the desire to travel all over the world first interested her in the industry.

At College of DuPage, she earned not only her Associate in Applied Science degree but also three travel certificates, graduating with honors.

“There were three main factors in my decision to attend COD: The location was ideal, the class times offered were convenient and the tuition was affordable,” she said. “COD made it possible for me to attend classes that ultimately led to my current career, all while planning my wedding. I was married just a few months after graduation, something attending school farther away would have made much more difficult.”

Six months after graduating, Kolesar began working for United Airlines as a reservation agent. Two years later, she became a reservation scheduler, which required her to create and award shifts to the reservation agents along with scheduling recurrent training classes. In 2011, she was a facility coordinator at the reservation center. 

“As facility coordinator, I was the point person for the vendors who work in our office,” she said. “I coordinated projects that take place in and around our building, including landscape, snow removal and painting – just to name a few. I also submitted our local budget for approval and made purchases for the office, ensuring we stay within the budget set.

“My current job title is Reservations Operations Representative. In my new role, I work in the Operations Center at our Chicago Customer Contact Center, monitoring office staffing and call arrival trends to ensure staffing changes are carried out in a timely manner.”

In 2014, for having a perfect 17-year attendance record, Kolesar won United Airlines’ perfect-attendance drawing and received a new Ford Explorer. She was featured in United’s Hemispheres Magazine, and her manager, Carole Arndt, praised her work ethic: “She’s one of those employees who shows what this airline is all about – very conscientious in her work and wonderful to work with.”

Kolesar said she will turn to College of DuPage if she ever needs classes that would further her career.

“When I began attending classes at COD, my goal was to become a travel agent. After attending some of the travel-specific courses, I soon discovered working for an airline was a better fit for me. I was lucky enough to tour United Airline’s Reservation Center while attending COD,” she said. “I have been working for United Airlines for the past 17 years. I have maintained perfect attendance for my entire career. Whenever anyone asks, I am always so proud to tell people where I work.

“I feel COD’s Travel program is excellent. Anyone considering a career in the travel industry should seriously consider attending COD.”

More about the Travel and Tourism program