Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Find you Engineering Internship - Guest Blogger Taylor Dooner

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Beata Strubel 

Choosing a career is not a one stop shop decided solely by choosing your major when you come to college. Another key piece is your involvement once you come to Purdue! What experiences will you gain inside and outside of class? Will you pursue an internship?
Now that you’ve had some time to think about engineering majors you are considering, we expand on relevant internship advice with CCO Ambassador Taylor Doolen.

Meet the Expert:
Taylor is currently a sophomore in Construction Engineering Management. He interned last summer at DPR Construction in the Bay Area, CA as a Project Engineer intern. Through his internship, he learned more about the commercial construction industry and made valuable connections.

As a CCO Ambassador, he helps review Purdue students' resumes, share CCO career services, and more! Read on to hear his advice and response to our question - How did you find your Engineering internship?
In order to get an internship, I went to several career fairs to talk with companies. Prior to attending any career fairs I always spend several hours researching the companies that will be in attendance to determine which companies fit me best. I then prepare an informational sheet for each company which includes topics I want to discuss, specific questions I have, and some background information on that company. I then review this sheet several times prior to talking with the company. 
An internship connects the “real-world” with the academic world. As an intern I was able to apply what I had learned in school but it was more of a learning experience. Many of the ideas that were introduced in my internship were later covered in coursework. An internship helps to show the application of content covered in coursework. 
The main advice I have for a current high school senior to prepare to find an internship is to figure out what they want to do. If a student goes into a career fair with the notion that they can get an “engineering internship” they are misguided. If students go into career fairs with a clear idea of what type of engineering internship they want to get and who they want to get the internship with, they will convey a sense of confidence that can go a long ways. An internship is not a career choice. If a student gets an internship in one field of engineering and later on decides it is not the right fit, they can change their career path and pursue opportunities in another field. 
Another piece of advice is to get good grades and have relevant involvement and experiences. This advice, however, is more appropriate for a younger audience seeing that there is not much time between senior year and college. Although what’s on your resume is not necessarily the most important aspect of getting an internship, if you have good grades and relevant experiences which you can speak about, an employer will likely take you more seriously. Furthermore, having experiences relevant to the internship you’re pursuing shows an interest beyond the typical verbal statement saying you’re interested. 
The CCO at Purdue has a variety of resources that will help students find an internship. The CCO offers both resume and cover letter reviews as a drop in service. Getting both of these documents reviewed prior to going to a career fair or applying for a job is critical. The resume of a college student is a living document, always changing, and the CCO is a great resource to get professional guidance on writing and maintaining a resume. Additionally, the CCO helps students prepare for attending career fairs and interviews. The CCO also provides the service of myCCO which is a platform that gives students a number of career tools. A major benefit of myCCO is the ability for employers to reach out to Purdue students to fill internship/job positions. Other tools of myCCO which help students to get internships include company research, career fair schedules/attendees, and information session schedules, among other tools.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Life as a Freshmen: featuring Amber Reiff and Annie Gassner

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Ashley Devore

Recently, WE Link held a chat night for our awesome volunteers, where we got to chat with our volunteers and hear about their cool experiences.  We had some awesome girls come out, and I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to two freshmen girls in first year engineering, Amber Reiff and Annie Gassner, about their experiences so far as freshman girls in engineering.  Here are their responses below! J

WE Link: How do you like freshmen year so far?
Amber: So far, freshman year has been really great. There have been so many new experiences that were not what I would have expected but they have turned out to be great learning experiences. I have also made a lot of really good friends with girls on my floor and people in my classes.
Annie: Freshman year has been great, but very challenging. I’ve met so many awesome people that I now call my friends and, as cheesy as it sounds, I can now call Purdue my home because of these people. As for classes, they are definitely challenging, but that’s what makes Purdue an amazing school! In the end, I know I will reap the rewards of these challenges I face.

WE Link: What sort of adjustments have you had to make as a college student?
Amber: I have had to adjust my schedule to figure out at what times I need to be in class or come back to my room to study or time to socialize and also to be involved in fun activities.
Annie: The most significant adjustment I had to make as a college student was organizing my time. In high school, you have a set schedule everyday: go to school, go to extra-curriculars, go home, do your homework, and go to bed. College is a different world and a completely different schedule than I’m used to. Every day has different classes and you have to work your schedule around your course load; you aren’t told what your schedule will be. There are so many opportunities that you can take advantage of, it’s often difficult to choose just a few you want to commit your time to.

WE Link: Please tell us your thoughts on your first year engineering class (engr 131).
Amber: I think this class is much more heavily group oriented than I thought it would be. It has taught me how to work with others under pressure. I was used to taking a leadership role on group projects in high school, but at Purdue I am not necessarily the best person in the group and have to trust group members instead of doing things on my own.
Annie: ENGR 131 gives great insight on the different majors within engineering. Although most people know what they want to go into when they come to Purdue, 131 helps you explore all types of engineering to make sure your choice is the right one. ENGR 131 also helps you work in teams, giving you real-world experience. I have learned that there will always be challenging team situations, but in a professional world, you have to learn how to work with them. The class gives real-world projects and it’s really cool to actually work on a project that has the potential to become a reality.

WE Link: What were some of your worries coming into college? Did you experience any, and if so how did you overcome them?
Amber: I was worried about dorm living and sharing a room with someone I did not know. My roommate was random but it ended up working out really well. We are very different and have grown up in different environments. We still get along and are great supports for each other and encourage each other to try new things. We plan on rooming together next year as well.
Annie: I was most worried about not doing well in my classes. So far, I have definitely been struggling with the material in my math and Chemistry class, but I have so many resources helping me through the struggle. Purdue has an infinite amount of supplemental learning opportunities and because I discovered these, I am improving my grades. Although I failed my first math test, that experience taught me to how to reach out and find resources for help in my classes.

WE Link: What is your favorite memory at Purdue so far?
Amber: My favorite memory is actually really simple. I was just walking to class and listening to music on my headphones while the weather was really nice. It was so nice to just look at the beautiful Purdue campus and let it sink in that I finally made it here and soak in the new freedom of college as well as the new relationships and endless possibilities.
Annie: My favorite memories are when I get to hang out with my floormates on the weekends. Living with people who have become your best friends is like one huge sleepover every night and it’s basically the best thing ever. Girls I didn’t think I would be friends with that first day are now my best friends and my future roommates for sophomore year. No matter what your worries about college may be, finding a place to fit in and making friends shouldn’t be one of them because you’ll find your best friends and make the best memories with them on the weekends and in between classes when you grab lunch at the dining courts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Choose Your Engineering Major - Guest Blogger Bidisha Dutta

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Beata Strubel 

How do you choose your Engineering major? Do you need to know your choice before you come to Purdue?

These thoughts may be racing through your mind as you juggle the college application process, senior classes, extracurricular activities, and possibly your final year living in the same town as some of your friends. You have enough on your plate – and now you need to plan the rest of your life?!

The number of choices left me a bit overwhelmed my senior year of high school. I have good news, though. It doesn’t need to be that stressful!

WE Link is here to answer your questions, provide advice, and connect you with all the great resources Purdue has to offer. We reached out to our friends at the Purdue Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) for some expert advice on choosing a major and finding your path.

Meet the Expert:
Bidisha, CCO Ambassador, is currently a junior in Electrical Engineering. She is the president of Purdue Energy Forum and enjoys reading, trying different foods, learning about cars and watching hockey! From Edmonton, Canada, she is a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan. 
As a CCO Ambassador, she helps review Purdue students’ resumes, share CCO career services, and more! Read on to hear her advice and response to our question – How did you choose your Engineering major?

My name is Bidisha, I am currently a junior in electrical engineering. During my senior year of high school, I realized I had to choose a major soon and begin college applications. I learned that engineering was a great fit for me after thinking what were my likes and dislikes. People say that liking math and physics is mandatory to be an engineer, which might be true in some cases since math and physics play a very important role in engineering.

After doing some research however I realized all engineers have one thing in common, they are problem solvers.

Engineering is a field filled with riddles and problems, every engineer’s goal is to find the solution for a problem or find a more efficient way to go about doing something. I realized I had always had a knack for solving problems or finding an easier way to do things!

I think the next step is much easier, when it comes to deciding what type of engineering is right for you; it’s really all about what interests you the most? What problems do you enjoy solving? From a very early age I knew I loved working with cars, so naturally I thought mechanical engineering was a good fit for me, but I also love technology and the learning about new technology, that’s why I thought electrical engineering was a good fit.

My favorite thing about engineering is  that it is such a broad major, there are tons of options within every major so choosing your specific engineering major shouldn’t be a big hassle just think of it as what interests you the most! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When In Rome - Study Abroad - Guest Blogger Ari Divizio

Posted on October 29, 2014


How did you find the study abroad program?
Being 100% Italian, I had always wanted to go to Italy, and I figured study abroad was the best chance to do it. I knew I didn’t want to miss out on a full semester at Purdue, so I wanted to see my other options. When talking to my advisor, he mentioned a spring break option in Rome. Specifically, Engineering and Public Health in the Service Sector: A Rome Study Abroad Experience. I only knew a few words and phrases of Italian, but I didn’t need to know the language at all in order for me to go. I was concerned that I wouldn’t get a full study abroad experience with a trip of only 10 days, but my advisor convinced me otherwise, and he was right.
During the trip:
While in Italy, I learned about the necessity of engineers collaborating with other disciplines. As an Industrial Engineering student, we went to Rome with Nursing students which did not make sense at first. After going through the program, I now know the importance of keeping in mind public health when solving any problem in engineering, while the nursing students learned that the technical side of engineering is also important in their field. Studying abroad made me see various other perspectives that I would not see without going. We had to complete a project and presentation with a group of students who attend the University of Sapienza in Rome. The language barrier was an obstacle we had to face, but along the way the American students and Italian students learned so much about each other. Thinking globally, each place has different social norms, ways of teaching, and schooling background. While learning more and more about each other, we worked better as a team. It ended up being the perfect program from a technical, teamwork, global, and travel perspective.
If you are interested in studying abroad, follow this link!!

Here are some pictures from my trip!

Making a wish at the Trevi Fountain

Inside St. Peter's Basillica

Me outside St. Peter's in the Vatican. Did you know it is the largest church in the world?

Purdue students strike a pose on the ruins of Pompeii

My new Italian friends who we worked on a project with at the University of Sapienza in Rome

Me jumping on the Pantheon

Gelato twice a day, everyday was our motto

 Just leaning on the Colosseo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 Ways to Be Your Best Boilermaker

Posted on October 28, 2014 by Beata Strubel 

How do you plan to find success at Purdue and make the most of your Purdue experience? As we enter the latter part of the semester, you might be feeling a mid-semester slump and be looking for ways to re-energize and finish the year strong.

Fortunately, Purdue has many resources available tailored to your needs and experiences. I can’t begin to list them all, but here are 3 that I have found personally helpful. I recommend checking them out when you get to campus next year. You can stop in for more information during a campus tour or browse their websites for advice as you finish your high school career.  

1.       Center for Career Opportunities (CCO)
The CCO offers a variety of (free!) services, from Career & Major Exploration Counseling to resume/interview assistance to professional development resources. The CCO helped me prepare my resume for the Industrial Roundtable job fair my freshman year, and I use their website regularly to research potential employers. Their blog has great advice and tips on preparing for your career – from cover letter writing to improving productivity. Additionally, as a Purdue student, you have access to the Career Wiki, including career guides, Purdue-subscribed databases for Employer Research, additional interview & resume resources, and more.

2.       Supplemental Instruction
I can’t say enough about the importance of being proactive about your success in courses. Purdue provides lots of (free!) resources in this area also. One example is the Women in Science and Engineering Tutoring Program, where you can stop in to the residence hall for free math and science tutoring. Another is Supplemental Instruction, weekly peer-led study sessions for your introductory courses. These sessions were a great help with my freshman physics course. The SI leader helped us with extra practice problems to clarify concepts, and I felt more confident completing the homework and going into exams.

3.       Peer Success Coaching
I am also personally involved in this program as a Peer Success Coach. As coaches, we meet one-on-one with fellow students via regular meetings throughout the semester or walk-in consultations. We can guide you through studying for exams, getting involved in extracurricular activities, connecting with campus resources, exploring career options, and more. We are here to help you set and achieve your own academic, social, and personal goals while at Purdue.

For more information, check out the websites above or send me a note! (purdue.welink at gmail dot com) I’m happy to answer any questions you have about your Purdue experience. The WE Link team is here just for you so you can start making your Purdue connections before you even arrive on campus. 

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!