Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Julie!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students 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 for a new post that will feature a different student and their new major at Purdue.

Let’s meet Julie.

Julie Mohomad

“Julie Mohomad is a senior at Purdue, but a junior in her major, Interior Design. She’s also working on minors in both Psychology and Building Construction. She started out in Exploratory Studies in her Fall 2012 semester, and stayed an Explorer for three semesters, going into Exploratory Studies to see what her options were and to explore what Purdue had to offer. She believes that the most valuable thing that she learned in Exploratory was the information about all the majors Purdue has to offer and the sheer number of how many majors there are. Her favorite thing about being in Exploratory Studies were the career searches they did in the EDPS courses.

After her three semesters in Exploratory Studies, she CODO’d into Civil Engineering, but decided the engineering aspects weren’t for her, as she wanted to do construction and design. That’s when she went into Interior Design.

Julia enjoys Interior Design because it lets you be creative and you have a lot of opportunity to express yourself and develop your own sense of style. She says that people within the major generally consist of those with a creative mindset who can still think in terms of engineering and how stuff works. Last summer, Julia had an internship that involved working with fabrics and upholstery, consisting mostly of decorating. In the long run, Julia wants to work for a commercial firm and build and design restaurants and hotels.

To those thinking about CODOing into Interior Design or to those that already have, she has a few suggestions and tips. She wants those interested in the major to know that there’s a lot of projects that sometimes coincide, so at times it can be difficult to balance your schedule, and you might have to pull some all-nighters. Make sure to plan wisely! This is especially important in your junior year, as it has the heaviest course load of the years. In addition, she recommends you are constantly building your network and to make full use of it – it will definitely help you land an internship.

As a senior, Julia suggests to everyone (especially those in Exploratory Studies) to look into the majors of every school and explore for yourself – find out what they all have to offer. Learn about the majors and what it means to be in that major before assuming based off of the name or what you’ve heard before. Talk to people within that major and ask them to share their experiences.

Julie’s favorite thing about Purdue is the people: they’re always really nice and willing to help you out when you need it.”

Written by Liam P., freshman

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Erin!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students 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 Erin.

“Erin graduated from Purdue in May of 2015 with a major in Public Relations and Strategic Communication. During her freshman year, she started in Exploratory Studies. In fact, one of the reasons she came to Purdue was because of our program. “I had no idea what I wanted to major in, but I knew that Purdue could help me decide. I also didn’t want to pick a major that I wasn’t committed to, and end up changing it 2 or 3 times throughout my time at Purdue.”

It wasn’t long until Erin found her dream major as she applied for a Change of Degree Objective, or CODO, into the Brian Lamb School of Communication the spring semester of her freshmen year.

While many students often question their choice of major, Erin knew it was the one for her. “Once I heard about Communication and Public Relations, I knew that was a good fit. I loved the classes I was in, and knew I was in the right place.” She highly enjoyed the writing aspect and wanted to learn more about marketing. This made Public Relations the right choice.

She also believes that there a lot qualities that make a good Public Relations specialist. Someone pursuing this needs to know that it is all about effective communication and using their skills as a communicator to help others. One of the most challenging aspects of studying Public Relations is the difficult coursework. However, Erin believes that if the subject is something that you are passionate about, then the work comes easy. Creativity and intuitive ideas are also a large part of the major, as are presentations. She stated that after only four months of work she has already had to give several presentations to clients. However, all of Erin’s hard work paid off. After graduation, she took a job at Asher Agency in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, as an Account Coordinator.

While Erin enjoys her major, she had a few favorite things about Exploratory Studies as well. “I loved my advisor!! I had Sue Aufderheide, and she was such a great resource during my first semester at Purdue. She invited our class to dinner at her house, and even 3 years later still ran into friends from that first EDPS class we had. It was so nice being undecided in my major, and meeting a group of people who were in the same position. It made Purdue feel a little smaller.”

Purdue itself also brought her a lot of great opportunities. During her sophomore year, she joined a Cooperative House called Glenwood. She stated that it was one of the best decisions she made as a student, as it allowed her to form lifelong friendships and get involved with activities like Purdue University Dance Marathon and the Purdue Cooperative Council as the VP of Women’s Recruitment. The summer before her senior year she also studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, as a part of her minor in Spanish. She stated that she was able to enjoy great food, immerse herself in the language and culture, and even had the opportunity to attend the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain.

Starting in Exploratory Studies may seem scary at first. However, it can lead to a plethora of wonderful opportunities. The right major is out there for everyone.”

Written by Lauren M., sophomore

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Sydney!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students 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 Sydney.

Name: Sydney Fara

Current year: Junior

Major: Public Relations and Strategic Communication (focus in Advertising) with a minor in Psychology.

Sydney Fara is a Junior in PR and Strategic Communication (focus in Advertising) and minoring in Psychology. She started as an explorer in her freshman year in 2013, because she was not sure which major offered by Purdue would be the best fit for her.

She spent one year in Exploratory Studies during which she tried different classes related to majors that she was considering. She took Biology classes and classes for Brain and Behavioral Sciences. However, after taking those classes she realized that specializing in Science (which was something she was interested in high-school) was not what she wanted to do. She then looked at her other interests such as graphic design, communication and working with people. PR and Strategic communication seemed like the perfect fit for her. Sydney CODOed into PR after taking the suggestion from her advisor and hasn’t looked back since.

From Sydney’s experience, the PR and Strategic Communication major is suitable for people who want to work with people. Public speaking is also an important part of this major but anyone who is not comfortable with it, Sydney has some advise for you. She says “ I was scared of public speaking but trust me, if I can get over it, so can you! And as always, you wouldn’t be a Purdue student if you weren’t already hardworking!” In addition to those skills, it is very helpful to know Photoshop, Excel and WordPress very well. The classes that she takes do not teach specifically about these programs so Sydney recommends that you take a course on learning about them or practice in your own time.

Her favorite thing about Exploratory Studies was her advisor who knew “everything about every major” offered here at Purdue. As a result, her advisor was able to answer any questions that she might have had. Sydney says “Exploratory Studies allows you to get a jump start into your education without wasting time or money while you decide your future major.”

Finally, her favorite thing about Purdue is the culture, traditions and the memories that she has made here.

A fun fact about her is that she was a BGR Team Leader this Fall!

Written by Nisa R., sophomore

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Carlee!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students 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 Carlee.

Carlee Newsome

Name: Carlee Newsome

Current Year: Junior

 Major: Organizational Leadership & Entrepreneur Certificate

“Carlee started in Exploratory Studies in the Fall of 2012 and was in to for 2 years. Carlee started her journey in Exploratory Studies because she wasn’t sure of what she wanted to study in college and knew the program would help guild her in the right direction. She liked the extra help they offer to students.

Carlee choose Organizational Leadership because she was interested in business, as well as, working with people. Studying leadership teaches her how to influence and empower a group of people to work toward a common goal while still helping individuals discover and use their individual strengths to reach their full potential. As a person who loves helping others and leading them in the right direction, Organizational Leadership was perfect for her. People who thrive in this major are those who take initiative, enjoy open discussions and like to work in teams. Upper division OLS classes almost always have group work and creative minds are favorable.

Her favorite thing while in Exploratory Studies was her learning community. She was given the chance to get close to a group of students who all had similar mindsets during her first year of school. This was beneficial to her because it allowed them all to use each other as a resource and to know others were going through the same confusing journey. Her learning community also kept her involved and socially active.

Carlee’s favorite thing about Purdue is the diverse resources and opportunities the University provides for us. There are so many activities, social events, lectures, workshops and conferences going on every week on Purdue’s Campus. There is simply not even hours in the day for her to do all of the things she would like to take advantage of.

She doesn’t have a favorite anything because her preferences are always changing. Except for her favorite University of course, Hail Purdue!”

Written by Kari L., junior 

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Aaron!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students 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 Aaron.

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Name: Aaron Campbell

Current year: Sophomore

Major: Planetary Science

How long were you in EXPL?

Three Semesters

Why did you start in EXPL?

I remember distinctly looking at my application and struggling with the option of what major I wanted to apply to. Whenever I thought I had decided, something changed my mind and I had second thoughts. I put off turning in my application until the last day it was due because of my struggle with choosing a major. Since the time to apply had come, I talked to my parents and we all agreed that Exploratory Studies was my best option.

Why did you choose your current major?

My advisor had given our class a list of classes she thought were interesting, different, had awesome professors, etc. I looked at this list near the end of my first semester when I was registering for classes and decided to take the ASTR 264 class that was on that list. I loved it. The first day I couldn’t wait to do my homework. That is when I knew I was on to something. I met with my advisor (Mary Beth Lencke) and we talked about the different paths into Astronomy. That’s when she told me about the Planetary Science major here at Purdue. I looked into it, read about the different research being done, took a couple classes required for the major, talked to a professor in the major and I knew it was what I wanted straight away. The day I received my CODO acceptance e-mail is one of the best of my life!

What kind of person would be good for this major?

Planetary Science requires patience, creativity, and a true passion for the scientific process. Some skills that are valuable are logical analysis of data, ability to work in groups, and the ability to convey complex ideas in simple ways.

Favorite thing about EXPL?

The people I’ve been able to meet throughout my years here. I have met a lot of people in my time in Exploratory Studies, all with different interests, abilities, personalities, and motivations. That variety is what keeps me coming back as a Peer Mentor. Everyone from fellow peer mentors, advisors in EXPL, Ambassadors, students etc. have been incredibly kind and helpful.

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

Absolutely. It gave me the skills necessary to find and research a major that I knew will be a good fit for me. More than that, it led me to learn an extremely valuable lesson. I realized that life’s uncertainty never goes away, and the best thing I can do for myself is to accept it and not let the fear of failure stop me from achieving my goals.

Favorite thing about Purdue?

There is a lot I love about Purdue. If I had to choose one, it would be that I’m proud that Purdue has a reputation for being a tough, academically focused school. People know the Purdue name world wide because of the work and success of past and current Boilermakers.”

Interview conducted and written by Emily R., junior.

Snapshots: Pursuit of Purdue. Meet Emily!

Each month, we’ll take a look at some students 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 Emily.

Emily Grimm

Name: Emily Grimm

Current year: Sophomore

Major: Industrial Engineering

Hometown: Newburgh, IN

“How long were you in EXPL?

Two semesters.

Why did you start in EXPL? 

During my senior year of high school, I was very stressed about choosing a major. I knew I was interested in math and science, but I was not quite sure where I fit in the STEM fields. One of the deciding factors for attending Purdue was the Exploratory Studies program. Looking back on my experience with the program, I am so grateful that I started there! I learned so much about myself, careers, and even campus resources during my first semester. Now that I am in my major, I know this is exactly where I need to be and I would not have gotten there without Exploratory Studies.

Why did you choose your current major?

I chose Industrial Engineering because it combines my two passions: technical knowledge and people skills. While other engineers work with engines and circuit boards, IE’s work with people. In my major, the goal is to find the best way for people, technology, and machinery to work together to improve efficiency and reduce waste. It is so satisfying to examine all of the components of a system and re-engineer them to create a better overall product.

What type of person would be good for this major?

Industrial engineers work with a lot of data, so it is important to be able to see the big picture instead of focusing on small details. Also, many IE’s move on to management positions or start their own company, so it is important to develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. If you have lofty goals of becoming a CEO, the Industrial Engineering department produces the most CEOs of any school at Purdue! Although Industrial Engineering is not as heavy in technical knowledge as other fields, it still requires many math and science courses. But the great payback is that IE’s work in diverse fields and positions such as manufacturing, health care, business, finance, and even government.

Favorite thing about EXPL?

Being a part of the Exploratory Studies Advisory Council and all the fun activities we do.

Favorite thing about Purdue?

The community atmosphere and strong legacy of successful alumni.

Fun Fact?

Last semester, I got to build a quadcopter drone as part of an engineering class!”

Interview conducted and written by Jacob B., sophomore.