Student Stories: Aidan Murphy

Aidan Murphy


Major: Engineering

When Aidan Murphy graduated from high school, he wasn’t ready to leave the lawn and landscaping company he runs in Naperville.

“I wanted to see how much more I could grow it before ultimately moving on to the next chapter in my life,” he said. “A combination of wanting to save as much money as possible on my undergrad and wanting to continue working ultimately made my decision to attend College of DuPage clear.”

Murphy also was named a Presidential Scholar, which included a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD’s Honors program and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

“Having this scholarship did much more than just save me money,” he said. “It lifted a weight off of my shoulders and, more importantly, my parents’ shoulders when it came to figuring out how to pay for my college education. I was able to devote more time to my studies that would have otherwise been spent working. I’m very grateful to College of DuPage for its generosity.”

During his first year, Murphy explored many career options and realized he wanted to find a mix between business and a technical degree. This led him to industrial engineering.

“I discovered that I enjoyed the people-to-people skills needed in business as well as the problem-solving skills needed to be an engineer.”

As an Honors student, he also found a close community within COD that led to many opportunities. For example, he was selected to present during the 2020 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Student Symposium.

“I was able to connect with like-minded peers not only in class but also outside, whether that was taking advantage of the job shadowing program to gain real-world experience in my field or presenting at the symposium, or just participating in an honors Q&A panel for incoming first-year students,” he said. “The opportunities to meet people and make my time at COD more enjoyable were really endless with everything the Honors program puts on and supports.”

Murphy transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. While there, he joined the rugby team and is the vice president of the rugby club. In addition, he continues to run his company and plans to stay connected to COD by returning to take several summer courses that will help him stay on top of his degree work.

After graduating, he will decide whether to immediately pursue a master’s degree or jump into an entrepreneurial venture. Regardless of the path, education will always be a part of Murphy’s life because he loves learning. 

His advice for students is to understand they will get out of their education what they put into it.

“What amazed me about COD as soon as I got on campus was just how many resources were in place to help me succeed, everything from the countless clubs to the required 10 office hours per week that made the professors super-accessible,” Murphy said. “These resources allowed me to be connected to anything and everything that I could need.

“COD is a fantastic first step to take if you are unsure of what you want to study, don’t feel ready to go away to school, or are just in a situation that makes going away for school difficult. College of DuPage values all their students and provides a great education to accompany that.”

More about the Engineering program