Integrating Business, Engineering and Entrepreneurship into One Degree

The decision to become a Boilermaker came easy for Alyssa Younker, a junior in the first cohort of students admitted to the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program. This unique interdisciplinary major, a collaborative effort between the Mitch Daniels School of Business and the College of Engineering, represents a novel approach to education, by blending foundational engineering principles with strategic business insights. As a member of the inaugural class, Alyssa has watched the evolution of this program, from its infancy to its current status as a trailblazing degree at Purdue.

Alyssa’s journey through the IBE program comprises a diverse array of experiences. From tackling first-year engineering courses to delving into business analytics, each step of the program has been crafted to create a comprehensive understanding of both fields. Alyssa has fully embraced this multidisciplinary approach to learning, by also pursuing the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as a concentration in hospitality and tourism management. After graduation, she would like to join the amusement park industry, specializing in project management for attraction development. 

Alyssa was able to pursue the Certificate in Entrepreneurship as one of her specialty areas in the IBE program. She shares that the entrepreneurship courses are some of her favorites. She appreciates the hands-on approach, and how business and engineering principles apply to entrepreneurship in the real world. The first hand knowledge that her entrepreneurship instructors bring to the classroom has also developed her critical thinking skills that can be applied to numerous contexts and situations. 

Integrating Business, Engineering and Entrepreneurship into One Degree. Alyssa Younker is pictured.

Alyssa Younker pictured above.

Beyond the classroom, she serves as the Director of Internal Marketing for her major, spearheading initiatives to raise awareness of the IBE program. She also serves as an ambassador for the Certificate in Entrepreneurship Program, is a teaching assistant for a management course, and participates in intramural sports. Additionally, her involvement in Purdue’s Women in Business organization has given her the opportunity to contribute to its annual Leadership Conference, for which she recruits speakers and organizes sessions aimed at empowering future leaders.

Alyssa has immersed herself in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), where she serves as a manager for the Imagination Station project. At this Lafayette, Indiana children’s museum, she and her teammates create exhibits aimed at teaching STEM principles to young visitors in an interactive and engaging manner. Currently, her team is working on four exciting exhibits, each designed to provide hands-on learning. While the process entails navigating through extensive design documents, she finds it gratifying to see the exhibits come to life and impact the community. One of their ongoing projects, Satellite Scramble, highlights the museum’s commitment to continuous improvement, as her team renovates and enhances existing exhibits to ensure longevity and functionality. Through EPICS, she not only honed her technical skills but also discovered her passion for tourism-related endeavors. 

Looking ahead, Alyssa is empowered by a commitment to bridging the gap between engineering innovation and business strategy, with aspirations of making meaningful contributions to the world of amusement park design and development. Through the interdisciplinary lens of the IBE program and the guidance of mentors in the entrepreneurship program, Alyssa feels equipped with the skills, knowledge, and determination to navigate the modern business landscape.