Student Spotlight: Maria Eugenia Chong
Maria Eugenia Chong
Major: Associate in Arts
As a child, Maria Eugenia Chong always pictured herself following in the footsteps of her parents, both working in the education field.
However, as she grew older, Chong began to change her views. She actually started a successful business while in middle school.
“I would sell key chains and designer Post-It notes to my classmates and others at school for 25 cents apiece, and I was able to make a little profit,” she said. “I did not understand how supply and demand work, but somehow I was able to figure out, in that tiny brain of mine, that it was appropriate to set the selling price of my product at a higher rate of its actual cost. There were days when I would sell a single key chain for a dollar, but the profit margin was to my benefit. At the same time, I became fascinated with the idea of managing my own funds for some of my expenses, which at that time were invested in a pack of gum or a candy bar from the school cafeteria.”
Chong’s dream of becoming a business major did not fade. She was amazed by successful businessmen such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. While their achievements seem unreachable, she is confident that an education in business will provide a path toward her own version of success.
The next step was finding a college, and she decided College of DuPage was the best choice for two main reasons.
“First, from a financial standpoint, I could get an education at an affordable price from one of the best qualified schools in Illinois,” she said. “Secondly, having just graduated from high school, I had not completely decided what field I wanted to purse. I would always respond ‘business’ whenever a person asked me what I was going to take up at college, but I felt uneasy with my answer because I did not really have a grasp of what a career in business entailed. I thought that embarking in a four-year course of study in a field that was totally unknown to me was not the best way to go. College of DuPage allowed me to select from an ample array of classes that would later contribute to my choice of a career to purse.”
In 2016, Chong earned her Associate in Arts degree and was selected as an Outstanding Graduate finalist. She is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Business Analytics at Benedictine University. Her ultimate career goal is to earn a doctorate degree, while her professional goal is to become the CEO of an important company.
Chong believes the education she received at College of DuPage provided her with a better outlook on her future career path.
“COD will always stand as my first and utmost step in attaining my dream,” she said. “I have taken different types of classes that have enlightened me into the best fit for me. The dedicated professors, outstanding facilities and efficient services at COD are factors that have played important roles in my academic achievements. Also, COD allowed me to gain professional experience by giving me an on-campus job opportunity as a peer coach in the Writing, Reading and Speech assistance center. My participation in serving the COD community helped improve my work ethic, communication skills and interpersonal relations.
“I was born in Ecuador, and I am very proud of my achievements at College of DuPage. I am grateful to my mom and dad for being such big supports in my career pathway. They gave up many personal and professional achievements to guarantee my sisters and me the best opportunities at our reach. This is my motivation to become better day by day and make them proud. College of DuPage has definitely been my home away from home, where I even got to become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Though my studies at COD have ended, I will always treasure my time at COD.”
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