December 28, 2018

Computer Science alum Qer Lee, now in her junior year at the University of Minnesota, found a second home while at Century College.  “At Century, you feel like you’re part of a community, and a family.” Qer, a first-generation student, notes. “It’s a smaller school, so you have a stronger connection with staff and students.  And it’s easy to get help from professors.”

Qer also had the luxury of time, because she didn’t have to worry about accumulating debt while at the College.  She received several scholarships through the Century College Foundation, and didn’t have to take out loans for her education, so she graduated from Century College debt-free. “I didn’t have to worry about money thanks to the scholarships from the Foundation.”  In addition, she worked part-time in the Trio ETS office and also at the West Academic Support Center

While at Century College, Qer took classes in engineering and business administration before deciding that a career in computer science was the right fit for her.  As member of the Northstar STEM Alliance, she met with alumni and mentors and went to local conferences, expanding her knowledge and network along the way.   Membership in the Northstar STEM Alliance offers opportunities for mentoring with faculty and alumni, travel to industry conferences, and field research.  The organization has been vital in helping Century College STEM graduates when they transfer to the University of Minnesota.

Her advice to new students is this: “Take the time to discover what you want to do — you can take classes in different fields, and you can use time to discover what you want to do.  Don’t just think in terms of getting through your education quickly in two years or four years–take more time if you need it, and if you decide to go to a 4-year college or university, your courses can transfer easily.”  She adds, “Apply for scholarships that you qualify for–you never know which opportunities will come your way.”

Once she finishes her undergraduate degree, Qer will move on to her Master’s degree with plans to become an entrepreneur.