Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Finding YOUR Perfect University - A Student Perspective

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Beata Strubel 

How do you find a college that provides the “perfect fit”? The college search can be daunting, stressful, overwhelming.. It can also be exciting, inspiring, and engaging. The element of the new and unknown can be both thrilling and terrifying. In less than a year you will be living in a new place with new people and limitless opportunities ahead of you.

But how do you choose? The number of burger varieties at the dining court? The steps from dorm room to classroom? (Close counts – you might need to get there quick some mornings! Or maybe you’re looking for a nice stroll..) Countless sites provide rankings in various areas, but it’s often hard to understand what they mean. How do you get a feel for a campus in a one day tour?

The key that helped me choose Purdue was the people here – the students, the faculty, the professors, the community. From the moment I arrived on campus, I was welcomed by everyone I met. I could really visualize myself spending the next four years here. I saw the excitement in the students and their passion for what they were learning. I could tell they genuinely enjoyed their classes and meeting new students. They happily answered all of my questions.

I am now part of this Boilermaker family, and I can attest to all the great things I was told back when I was in high school. I love meeting future Boilermakers and sharing my experience. In every personal story I hear from a Boilermaker, I see a new perspective about the opportunities at Purdue.

Furthermore, Purdue partnered with Gallup this past spring to create the Gallop-Purdue Index, a new measure of the value of college. It uses “rigorous data about the overall success—at work and in life generally—of America’s college graduates.”

Confirming what I learned through personal stories, the poll shows that graduates who said they had a “mentor who encouraged my hopes and dreams,” “professors who cared about me” and at least one professor who “made me excited about learning” are three times more likely to be thriving and twice as likely to be engaged at work. Personally, I have experienced all of the above at Purdue. That is pretty exciting news.

I encourage you to browse through the results and see how else you can make the most of your college experience. Maybe you’ll find a few questions to ask students on your college visits. (Do you have a mentor who encourages your dreams? Do your professors care about you and make you excited about learning? Yes, yes, and yes.) Reach out to a student and ask away. We’d love to help you find YOUR perfect fit.

*If you’re interested in learning more, you can find the Index report here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Blogger Jenee Christensen: My Homecoming Court Experience

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Guest Blogger Jenee Christensen 

My college experience here at Purdue has been amazing.  I've had some really talented professors over the past three years, I'm involved in a wide variety of organizations, and I've had the opportunity to study abroad four times.  I love Purdue, and I have spent my time on campus trying to experience as much of Purdue as I can.  So when I first heard about Homecoming Court during my sophomore year, when a friend of mine was running for Homecoming King, I made a mental note that I wanted to learn more about this potential opportunity, and possibly even consider running my senior year.

Fast-forward two years: I decided to go for it.  I applied for Homecoming Court for a few different reasons.  First off, as I mentioned before, I love Purdue, and I wanted the opportunity to represent the student body in such a unique capacity.  I also love alumni - I firmly believe Purdue would not be the incredibly university is is today if it didn't have such incredible alumni support - so I wanted the opportunity to interact with and serve them through my role on Homecoming Court.  And finally, I wanted the opportunity to represent women in engineering, women in ROTC, and women from other segments of the student body who do not always receive a lot of recognition.

A lot of people have asked me what the process is like.  Last spring, I went on the Purdue Student Union Board's (PSUB) website and found the application online.  I was evaluated based on my leadership involvement, scholarships, and an essay I wrote about why I am proud to be a Boilermaker.  Around mid-May, I received an email from the PSUB Director of Homecoming that I would be on the Court - and everything moved very quickly from there!  Part of my responsibilities as a Homecoming Court member included volunteering at several PSUB events (including the BGR UnionFest, Homecoming Kick-Off Cookout, Homecoming Carnival, and Homecoming Trivia Night), as well as working with my partner to fund and manage our campaign.  I didn't know my partner, Tripper Carter, before Homecoming started (we were assigned to each other alphabetically; you don't have the opportunity to choose your partner), but he is an incredible guy and I'm so grateful I had the chance to get to know him and work with him.

The two weeks leading up to Homecoming were a blur - between campaigning and working at different PSUB events, I had almost no free time - but it was so cool to see all of our hard work culminate during Homecoming Weekend.  Friday, all the candidates (seven women, seven men) rode in the Boilermaker Night Train Parade.  This actually turned out to be my favorite event of the entire weekend - it was so much fun riding through Purdue's campus, enjoying the music and throwing candy to the crowd.  Saturday was packed with breakfast, the crowning ceremony, and the Homecoming game itself: the entire Court was introduced during halftime.  President Daniels came by to shake our hands, and it was cool to be able to share our experience with the entire student body.

Although I was not crowned Homecoming Queen, it was such a cool experience to be a part of the Homecoming Court.  I met some incredible fellow Boilermakers, made some incredible memories, and fell in love with Purdue all over again.  I feel incredibly blessed to have been chosen for the Homecoming Court, and to have received so much support throughout the process from my family and friends, both on and off campus.  As always, I am ever grateful, ever true, and I am more proud than ever before to be a part of Purdue.

Boiler Up!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Preparing for IR

Posted on September 11, 2014 by LilyAnn Peterson Gapinski

        You have probably heard by now that next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday something pretty big is happening here at Purdue, and that thing is IR. Purdue’s Industrial Roundtable (IR) is one of the largest student-run job fairs in the country, and it continues to grow each and every year. This year, over 400 companies will be attending looking to fill internship, Co-Op, and full-time positions.
         Because of IR’s size and reputation, it can be pretty intimidating your first year. A lot of freshmen think that it isn’t worth it to attend IR, because they cannot possibly compete with students older and more experienced than them, but that is not the case. Yes, it is more difficult to obtain an internship or Co-Op position as a freshman, but it is definitely not impossible. Some companies even specifically aim to hire freshmen.  I know many people who were able to get internships for the summer after their freshman year through IR. Even if you don’t end up finding an internship, it is still great to get experience talking to company recruiters, and practice selling yourself.
          Whether you are extremely serious about finding an internship position at IR, or you are just going for the practice, there are some things you need to make sure to do before the big day.

Update Your Resume: Make sure your resume is completely up to date with accurate and relevant information. Have people read through it to make sure you didn’t make any small errors. The Purdue CCO has free resume reviews as well which is a great resource to utilize.

Go to the Seminars: Monday all throughout the day many companies will be holding hour long seminars overviewing what they do and what opportunities they have available. This is a great chance to learn more about companies before going up to their booths during IR.

Do Your Research: Although the seminars will give you a lot of information, it is still a good idea to do additional research on the companies you are interested in. Many smaller companies do not hold seminars, so it is up to you to do all of your own research on them.

Decide Which Companies to Hit: With over 400 companies, you won’t have time to talk to them all, and you probably wouldn’t be interested in all of them anyway. Make a list of the companies you really like, and make a schedule of when to go to each company based on when you are available. All the information about where each company will be on Memorial Mall is in the IR Guidebooks that can be found around campus. Keep in mind that some companies are only here for one of the days, so make sure not to miss them.

Practice Your Elevator Pitch: When you go up to a recruiter during IR, you only have a few minutes to impress them. Make sure to plan out what you are going to say, and make yourself memorable. Information about how to construct a good elevator pitch can be found online at the Purdue CCO’s website.

Find Something Appropriate to Wear: It is important to look professional for IR, but keep in mind that you will be outside walking around Memorial Mall, so you will want to be in something comfortable as well. Make sure to stay informed about the weather forecast so you are able to dress weather appropriately.

IR is an amazing event that is unique to Purdue, and many great opportunities can come out of it. Keep this in mind, and make sure to take full advantage of it next week!

Good Luck Ladies!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Being a member of the Women In Engineering Pair Program

Posted on September 9, 2014 by Ashley Devore

Hello everyone, hope everyone is having a fantastic week! School is in full swing, and so many exciting things are going on! Here at Purdue University, organization callouts are in full swing; there is just so much going on! One really awesome group that I am in is the Women in Engineering Program’s (WIEP) Undergraduate Mentoring Program – called Mentors and Mentees (M&M). We just had our first meeting today and it was awesome!
               M&M connects older girls in engineering with younger girls in engineering. In each mentoring pair there is the mentor, the older girl, and the mentee, the younger girl.  Mentors are typically upperclassman, but sophomores can choose to be a mentor if they would like to as well. Mentees are freshmen and sophomores. The mentoring program participants meet once a month at monthly meetings, and pairs meet up once a week on their own. In addition, the program also holds social events such as arts and crafts, ice cream parties, and even an end of the year dance.
               One thing that M&M really focuses on is developing your coaching and mentoring skills. Even mentees get work on these skills, as they are really important in the professional world, and even in everyday life. During monthly meetings, we typically do some sort activity that allows us to practice our coaching and mentoring skills. For example, today our guest speaker gave us a workshop on how to properly coach someone, and then we practiced what she told us on our mentors/mentees.
               Another thing that M&M focuses on is developing professional skills. Some of our meetings are specifically about how to prepare for an interview or how to build your resume. These are really valuable and definitely help both mentors and mentees.

I joined the Women In Engineering M&M Program my freshmen year. At that time I was a mentee. I really loved having a mentee because she helped me through some tough times last year and helped show me all of the great resources that Purdue has to offer. This year, I am a mentor, and I cannot wait to start building my relationship with my mentee. I definitely recommend the M&M program to all freshmen girls because it is a great way to get to know older girls in engineering and is such an amazing resource. Plus you gain a new friend out it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spain Study Abroad

Posted on September 2, 2014 by Catherine Courchaine

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Spain. It was my first experience traveling outside of the United States, but I can assure you it won't be my last!

Although I devote most of my time to my Aeronautical Engineering degree, I have also been working on a Spanish minor. Languages have always been a passion of mine, and when I came to college I knew I would be continuing the Spanish classes that I had begun in high school. One great opportunity that Purdue offers is the chance to test into an upper level language course. By taking an entrance assessment, I was able to get a head start on my Spanish career at Purdue. After several semesters, I decided to finish the required courses for my major abroad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I chose to study for six weeks in Madrid with about forty other students from Purdue, taking the six credits I needed to complete my minor at a private university in the city of Madrid. The first course was a Spanish Culture and Civilization class that taught about Spain's history, geography, festivals, and traditions. The other course was the Art of El Prado, a course that taught about three Spanish artists whose works were in the Museum of Prado in Madrid. My favorite part of the class was being able to visit the museum every week to see the paintings in person!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               While I was in Madrid, I stayed with a host family, who cooked authentic meals and helped me with my speaking and listening skills by speaking completely in Spanish. I loved being able to immerse myself in the culture of Spain while learning about it.

On Fridays, we made several group trips to cities around Spain, including Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia, and Granada. I also made weekend trips with friends to Sevilla and even Paris, France!

The weeks flew by, but I enjoyed every second of my time in Spain. From exploring the beautiful city of Madrid, to giving presentations about regions in Spain, to meeting amazing friends that I am able to catch up with now that we have returned to Purdue, my study abroad experience has been unforgettable.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome to Purdue!

Posted on August 19, 2014 by Beata Strubel

College is an immersive experience. Over the past few years, I have experienced countless new things and ideas. I have learned about myself and others (and some engineering, too!) I have grown as a friend and as a leader. I continue to learn what I like, what I love, and what I want to do in life. I have also learned what does not interest me and what I do not want to do. These discoveries are just as important.

My challenge to you as you come to Purdue is to stay open to all the opportunities to learn here. These extend way beyond the classroom – from extracurricular activities to research to internships, time with friends, and time with yourself.

You have an exciting year ahead. Make the most of it, and challenge yourself to try something new. Try an activity you might not have considered before. Get to know someone outside your usual friend group. Go to a sports event. Or an art exhibit. Or a dance performance. It doesn’t hurt to try. You might find a new favorite hobby or interest.

I took Modern Dance as an elective class my freshman year. Having never taken a dance class before, I did not know what to expect. I walked in on day one prepared to look like a fool. And I did. But it was fun and challenging, and I never felt judged for even a moment. This welcoming community is why I love Purdue.

I doubt I’ll ever perform on stage in NYC (though it’s fun to dream!), but I’m no longer embarrassed to dance in public. I still joke about my lack of coordination, but I’ve gained a confidence in movement that I did not have before. These are experiences I did not plan to have when I entered Purdue Engineering, but they have shaped me as a person just as much as my engineering learning. And I still attend Purdue’s Contemporary Dance performances every year.

Be open to new experiences, and you’ll find lots of non-obvious opportunities to learn. I look forward to meeting you or seeing you again this fall. Stop by the Women Engineering office to say hi! Welcome to the Boilermaker family.

Boiler up!


Purdue-bound! (Me in 2012)

BGR 2012 - First Fountain Run - You have to hit ALL the fountains!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Moving into College: Last Minute Tips

Posted on August 14, 2014 by LilyAnn Peterson Gapinski and Ashley Devore

Packing for your first year of college can be extremely stressful, as you haven’t been there before so you aren’t exactly sure what you need; and move in day can be chaotic and scary. Here are some last minute tips to help you pack smart and have a successful move in.

General Tips:

Try not to over pack.
Remember that you will have a lot less space than you are used to in your dorm room, and it’s no fun living in an overcrowded room. Pack the necessities, then choose wisely when it comes to the additional items. Also remember you can always get things when you go home on break. 

Buy Toiletries While At Purdue. 
Buy your toiletries when you get to Purdue, as it will help you save on packing space.  Big bottles of shampoo and conditioner take up lots of space, plus they add to the weight of your bag as well.  There are stores like Target, Walmart, and Walgreens near Purdue that sell everything you could possibly need.

Go To Bed Bath & Beyond for all of your dorm needs. 
Bed Bath & Beyond is a great place to get all of your dorm necessities, mainly because they will ship it for you to the nearest Bed Bath & Beyond to your college.  All you do is pick out what you want at home and then go pick up at the date you selected.  I highly recommend this if you need to fly to Purdue. 

**Secret Tip: If you find that you don't have enough room to pack everything, you can always ship a box of stuff to the dorms.  The dorms will have it ready for you when you get there.  

Things to Bring:

Although there is a printer in every Residence Hall, it can be very useful to have your own. The printers in the Residence Halls can have long lines, or sometimes are out of order. Also, for color printing you have to visit specific computer labs on academic campus. For the most convenient and reliable option, bring your own printer.

Business Casual Clothes
Needed for job fairs, and sometimes other special events such as club banquets or class presentations. 

While Purdue does have a student health center, it is wise to bring some general medicine along, like Advil, cold medicine, that sort of stuff.  Also make sure to bring any prescriptions you need.