Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Jesse!

Each week, we’ll take a look at a student who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Let’s meet Jesse.

Jesse Palma

Name: Jesse Palma

Current year: Freshman

Major(s): Industrial Design

“Jesse had a lot of ideas as to what he wanted to do. It was safe to say he was all over the place! He was stuck between engineering, pharmacy, medicine, and building/construction management. He said his reason for choosing EXPL was he did not waste his time in a major he may not even like.

After only one semester in EXPL, Jesse decided to CODO to Industrial Design. Jesse is really passionate about designing and that is why he wanted to do engineering in the first place. He admires the design of everything and he wanted to “be a part of the beauty of the world.” He said Industrial Design is “everything he wanted to do.” He also stated that he wouldn’t have found the major if Tiffany (his advisor) hadn’t helped guide him along the way. Jesse did not even know this major had existed until his advisor, Tiffany, emailed him with a list of majors she thought would interest him and when he saw the word “design” he was intrigued. After some research, he knew that Industrial Design was exactly what he wanted to do.

So what does it take to be an Industrial Design major? Jesse says creativity is a huge component in this major. You also have to be able to think critically, but also be open-minded. Jesse mentioned that although something his designs may look pretty it has to be practical, so you have to be able to accept that your work may have to be modified. Jesse also mentioned he works with computers frequently so it is a good idea to be comfortable using one.

Although his time in EXPL was short, his favorite thing about EXPL was his advisor. He loved the fact that Tiffany got to know him personally and was able to really work with him on finding a major.  Jesse loved that Tiffany made it seem like it was her personal goal to help him find a major. He is so thankful that she worked so closely with him.

Hands down Jesse’s favorite thing about Purdue is the opportunities Purdue has to offer- whether it be academically or socially. He said, “It really makes the college experience worthwhile.” Jesse has joined numerous clubs and is in a fraternity. He loves that there are always cool people to meet and that there are so many things to do!”

Interview conducted and written by Emily S., freshman.

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Avery!

Each week, we’ll take a look at a student who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Let’s meet Avery.


Name: Avery Sameshima

Current year: Sophomore

Major(s): Hospitality & Tourism Management

When did you start in Exploratory Studies?

I started my college career in Exploratory Studies.

How long were you in Exploratory Studies?

I was in Exploratory Studies for 3 semesters, but knew what major I would choose by the end of my second.

Why did you start in Exploratory Studies?

Exploratory Studies seemed like the best idea for me since I’d had no idea what major or career I’d wanted. When I first arrived at Purdue, I was considering majoring in political science, or theatre, or nursing. It’s a varied selection, I know. However, as I went to meetings and call-outs for these majors as a requirement for my Exploratory Studies class, I discovered none of them were right for me. This is exactly what I joined Exploratory Studies for: to find out what I did not want to do.

Why did you choose your current major?

I chose Hospitality & Tourism Management because I love working with people and making them feel comfortable and happy. Customer Service is something I value quite a lot, and with the recent jobs I’ve had in food service, I’ve really been able to see a lot of what a career in HTM requires.

What kind of personalities would be good for this major? What are some of the skills or abilities people should be aware of in order to enjoy this major?

All kinds of people can major in HTM. However, it does require a strong trait of sociability and compassion. The jobs require so much interaction amongst coworkers and customers that someone who cannot function well in a social setting would probably not benefit the job. Most of the people I’ve met in this major are very social, kind, hard-working, and constant learners. The job requires research for everything, whether it be preparation for an interview or even just having a guest speaker. Research must be done to show that we care and to make our own impressions.

 What was your favorite thing about Exploratory Studies?

My absolute favorite thing about Exploratory Studies was my teacher and advisor, Mary Beth Lencke. If I were asked who my favorite and best teacher here was, I would give them her name. Not only was she extremely kind and helpful, but she always listened to what I wanted to do and talked me through the pros and cons. She’s a great advisor and an even better person.

Do you feel Exploratory Studies was helpful to you during your first semester(s) at Purdue?

Exploratory Studies was extremely helpful, though I might not have realized it. Going to all the meetings and call-outs and researching the majors that I showed interest in really helped me pick and choose. It all gave me an overall sense of whether or not I felt like I belonged in the major, would succeed in the major, and would enjoy a career in it for the rest of my life.

 Are you surprised at where you have ended up in your studies?

I’m not surprised at where I am, I just hadn’t expected to have taken so many turns. I first started off at Purdue in some pretty high level math and science classes. Then, I went on to doing maths and management courses. Now that I’m in a majority of HTM courses, I can see that I really had to fight through the other courses because I’d not been passionate for them or felt they were beneficial. I think that having gone through that has prepared me for my HTM courses and the amount of effort I will need to put in.

 What’s your favorite thing about Purdue?

My favorite thing about Purdue would definitely be Harrison Grille! It’s my favorite place to work and the food is delicious. You should definitely come by some time and grab a bite to eat. We close at 1 am every night!

…or morning.

Fun Fact?

I joined a hip hop dance crew on campus called Dance 2XS. We are not competitive, but we do have two trips that are out of state in which we showcase what we’ve learned and developed. It is one of my favorite things to do here at Purdue, and I will definitely be re-joining after this semester.

Interview conducted my Emily R., junior


Study Abroad- Summer in Siena 2015

Looking for a potential study abroad opportunity? The Brian Lamb School of Communication has one for you- and the best news, any major can go! Summer in Siena has been one of the most popular study abroad programs. Students will be given the opportunity to study in Siena (Tuscany, Italy) from June 22nd – July 17th, 2015.

Here are some quick facts about the program:

  •  Students may take 6 credits of coursework (cost remains same). All the classes offered will count towards communication majors and the social science requirements of other majors.
    • The classes are: COM 303 : Intercultural Communication COM 325 : Interviewing : Principles and Practices COM 495 : Public Behavior and Social Dynamics
  • This is one of the most cost-effective programs! Cost includes tuition, housing, required insurance and study abroad fees
    • Travel grants ($1,000) and other study abroad funding opportunities are available through the Office of Programs for Study Abroad

For more information about the program and how to apply, contact Yeunjae Lee at You can also check out their brochures for the program found below.



Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Heather!

We’re excited to feature another new blog series on our blog called “Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue.” Each week, we’ll take a look at a student who started their journey in Exploratory Studies. All of these students have found their perfect major at Purdue. Be sure to check out our blog each week for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Now let’s meet Heather!

Heather Huizenga

Name: Heather Huizenga

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Demotte, Indiana

Majors: Agricultural Business, Finance, Marketing

From a small town and a farming family, Heather always assumed she would major in the department of agriculture but was unsure what area exactly so she went undecided.

Heather started Purdue University as an Explorer in the fall of 2014. Like many Exploratory Studies students, she was undecided senior year of high school.

Heather heard about, her now, apartment complex and Christian living community called FaithWest through a friend and along side Purdue’s Agriculture background, Heather decided Purdue was the right choice. She loves the environment Purdue creates by offering so many resources to succeed in any area of study.

She is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship. She plans to CODO into the College of Agriculture and major in Business, Finance, or Marketing.

Her favorite parts of being in Exploratory Studies are her advisor, Mary Beth Lencke, and the EDPS 105 Exploratory class. Heather loves that Mary Beth Lencke has helped make Purdue seem like a smaller place and she can tell Mary Beth genuinely cares about her future as a Purdue student. As for the EDPS course, Heather loves the personality tests and career tests have really advanced her knowledge of the Agriculture department and what majors will fit her best.

As for others considering these majors, Heather believes a background in farming or anything ag-based would be a good fit for the College of Agriculture. Specifically, she believes to be in Finance or Business, one must genuinely be good with numbers and love to apply it to everyday agricultural situations. She says, being a people person is a must, because of all the wonderful people one will come across in the agriculture business world.

Written by Kari L., junior 

Remembering Their Journey- A post from an Exploratory Studies student

Hey there! We’re starting a few new series of blog posts on The Right Track. For those of you still in high school, you’re probably experiencing a lot of thoughts and feelings about college…you’re not the only one! In this series, “Remembering Their Journey”, we’ll hear from five current and former Exploratory Studies students. They’ll take a look back on their experience in high school,share their memories with you and chat about their college experiences thus far.

First up is Emily. Here’s her story:


                                    Emily S., freshman

“Senior year. So much stress and so much fun packed in a year. From going to football games, taking the SATs, prom, and applying to colleges; senior year is the busiest year in high school by far. Looking at colleges becomes your life. My friends and I all freaked out about applications and when we got our acceptance letters we all freaked out about which university to choose.

I had always been thinking Purdue because I live in Lafayette. When I actually started doing research I realized that Purdue was a good idea not only for the proximity, but because it is a great school. All throughout high school I was never sure on what major I wanted to pursue, so I saw that Purdue had a program called Exploratory Studies. I looked on their website and decided that going into Exploratory Studies would be the best option for me because I would be able to explore (no pun intended) different majors and really get an idea of what I would want to do.

Coming into Purdue I thought I wanted to major in Brain and Behavioral Sciences. I was actually really confident that was the major I wanted. Then I took a class about behavioral neuroscience and realized that being a neuroscientist required interaction with rats and I am not a fan of rats, so that major was out. I then started looking at Public Health at the insistence of a friend. Public Health has a really great job outlook, but I did not feel like I was really passionate about it. I was honestly only looking into it because it made a lot of money and I did not feel like that was a good enough reason to choose a major. I then started looking into Law and Society because I wanted to be a lawyer. I stuck with that for a while and one day at work I started watching a lot of history education videos on YouTube and my boss gave me the idea of majoring in History. Now, I am currently thinking of majoring in History.

Keep in mind that was all in my freshman year of college. I am SO glad that I chose Exploratory Studies because I would have changed my major three times in the span of five months, which could have been problematic. Now, I am taking a history class to make sure it is what I really want. I cannot recommend EXPL enough. The class, EDPS 105, you take helps you learn about the majors at Purdue and about yourself. It is so awesome to take a class with people who are just as indecisive as you. EXPL at Purdue was the perfect choice for me and I hope it is the same for you.

If I could give any advice to current seniors it would be to calm down and enjoy your last year while it is here. It goes by really fast. Take advantage of all the opportunities you can now.” – Emily S., freshman