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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

From PSEO to Amazon: Alum Lance Dolan
Photo of Lance Dolan in IcelandLance Dolan in Iceland

Coming from a background with minimal financial resources, Lance Dolan was resigned to the fact that college would not be in his plans. His goal was to earn enough money to afford an apartment. Then a PSEO program provided him with a year of free college, where he met instructors at Saint Paul College who helped him find scholarships that allowed him to attend college with no out-of-pocket cost. This support was critical to him as he recalls being very reluctant to take out any loans for college as he was unsure of the value of a degree at the time.

Lance recalls the classroom education as top-notch while adding that the networking made available to Saint Paul College Computer Science students was a fantastic bonus. He made many new connections instrumental in helping him stay motivated every step of his educational journey, including times through the “Trough of Despair.” This network was also invaluable in assisting Lance in launching his very successful career.

After receiving his AAS in Computer Programming, then an AS degree in Computer Science, Lance had the necessary prerequisites to attend the UofM to pursue a BS in Computer Science. However, with his two-year degree in hand, Lance was offered a high-paying software engineer position as a consultant out of Chicago, doing E-commerce websites for large companies like Hyatt, McDonald’s, and Zebra Technologies, which creates bar codes. Not only could Lance afford an apartment, but he was also traveling the world and climbing the ever-growing IT ladder.

Recently employed as a Senior Engineer for Amazon Web Services (one of the FAANG companies desired by many IT professionals: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google), Lance is truly living the dream. Having reached the top of his field, he is passionate about letting other prospective students know that the stigma that 2-year schools do not allow you to reach the top of your field is untrue. He adds that he found students at Saint Paul College were very focused on learning and applying themselves in the classroom, which made it a high-quality learning experience that helped him achieve his dreams.

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