Jonathan Van Zweden
Applications Programmer, Interstates Control Systems Inc., Sioux Center, Iowa
Jonathan Van Zweden

Programmed for success

Jonathan began his education at Northwest Iowa Community College and the University of Northern Iowa—then worked a couple of years for an electrician—before transferring to Northwestern College to earn a degree in computer science. After spending a summer and his senior year as an intern at Interstates, he had a job offer. Two weeks after graduation, he began his new career at a place he describes as “a great company with great people.”

Why did you transfer to Northwestern?
I chose Northwestern College because it offered the best financial package of all the colleges and universities I applied to. Also, it’s known for its rigorous curriculum that produces students who truly have achieved something once they graduate. In the end, Northwestern provided a high-quality education at a price I could afford.

What are Northwestern professors like?
The professors I had were passionate about their field of study and provided an environment where students could excel. They were always willing to answer my questions and help me understand the material. There were several times when I had questions on the weekends and got help from professors on a Saturday. If you’re motivated to learn, they’ll go the extra mile to set you up for success.

How did Northwestern impact your faith?
Northwestern does an excellent job of incorporating faith-based discussions into almost every class. Those discussions, along with messages in chapel, served to strengthen my existing beliefs and helped me gain new perspectives on the Christian faith. I especially enjoyed the class called Christian Story, which takes an in-depth look at how the Bible was formed and many of the prominent characters in Scripture.

Were you well prepared for the job you have now?
I felt well equipped with the skills I developed at Northwestern to learn what I need to know to be successful in my new role. My computer science major exposed me to the latest technologies and best practices used in the discipline today. I was involved in group project work that is relevant to what one experiences in the workplace. My senior project gave me the opportunity to research current technology solutions for real-world application.