Olivia Martin applied to 10 schools during her senior year at Naperville Central High School, which left her with many options.
“I decided to come to College of DuPage because I received the Presidential Scholarship, which totally outweighed any other scholarship a school could give me,” she said. “COD was a really good choice. I pushed myself all the same to try new things and to just discover what I like more and what I can perform better in.”
Eager to get started, Martin took her first class, Leadership Humanities 2010, right after high school graduation.
“I met people who were already leaders on campus, and that inspired me to do the Living Leadership program, and then through that I met a lot of different people, good friends, at the first retreat I attended in 2011. I guess I found my niche at COD, and I knew I wanted to get involved.”
Martin also participated in Model UN, was a French Club officer and served as a student trustee on the College of DuPage Board of Trustees.
“It’s been really the greatest learning experience I've had so far through my young adult life. I learned a lot about myself and how to conduct myself, especially when I'm proposing different ideas,” she said.
After earning her Associate in Science degree, Martin transferred to Knox College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Biology. She returned to COD and worked in the Chemistry program before landing a job at the Dicty Stock Center at Northwestern University, where she uses her biology skills.
Having completed a data science boot camp, Martin is now in Northwestern’s Masters in Data Science program and looks forward to exploring how she can use data visualization skills.
She knows her time at College of DuPage prepared her well.
“I felt confident in how I performed at College of DuPage, and that helped me feel that I could continue to perform well at Knox,” Martin said. “Thanks to COD, I gained experience, was more prepared and was ready to take on the extra challenge of being away, of being more on my own.”