Purdue Pride

Every time I walk around Purdue’s campus I usually discover something new that I hadn’t seen or noticed before.  I know it is easy to get caught up in a routine and take things for granted.  My first memories of Purdue are ones I will cherish forever.  The awing moments when I first walked around campus, enjoying the simple beauty of the buildings and landscaping.  Things have changed a lot since I first arrived at Purdue during a visit in 2006…wow I feel old 😛

But it’s not everyday that you get to see a view like this:

Purdue Engineering Fountain

When I actually take the time to appreciate the campus and look around a little more carefully, I beam with pride that I go to such an awesome university!  The opportunities that exist here at Purdue are endless.  You can get involved in research, study abroad, work for companies across the country, go to a sporting event, see a concert, or take part in some cool traditions only here at Purdue such as the fountain run, sledding down Slayter Hill, high fiving Purdue Pete, or riding in the Boilermaker Special!

Posing next to the Boilermaker Special!

So make sure to make the most of your college career, it goes by quick! Go Boilers!!

Reflection on Gov. Mitch Daniels as Purdue’s 12th President

Today I had the opportunity to watch the live video as Purdue’s Board of Trustees named Gov. Mitch Daniels as the next President of Purdue.  It was a great opportunity to see the formal selection process of a new president at a university.  I must admit that I do not know anything about Gov. Mitch Daniels because I do not keep up with politics as much as I should and my hometown is in Illinois, not Indiana where Mitch Daniels is governor.

Anyways, I just wanted to add my two cents about what I think of Purdue’s newly appointed president.  From the brief speech the Governor gave during the appointment ceremony, it appears that he is very excited about the opportunity and wants to make his time at Purdue a memorable one.  I feel that his relationships he has built across the nation, and even world-wide potentially, can help to improve and increase Purdue’s recognition and familiarity.  I am cautiously optimistic that Gov. Mitch Daniels will be able to grow Purdue and continue improving this great educational institution.  Only time will tell if he will become another successful Purdue President.

Here is the link to an article talking about the appointment ceremony:  http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/general/2012/120621KrachPresident.html

“All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Washington D.C. (Part 1)

Some days I have to pinch myself because my job is so cool.

Imagine being told “we want you to go and hang out at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington D.C. and, oh by the way, you’ll get to meet some really cool people while your there.” Wow, did I ?!?

Over the three days in D.C. I got to see some really cool things, eat some really great food, and most of all meet some fantastic people.

In Part 1 of this series I would like to share with you some of the great People that I got to meet.  First of all we met several outstanding future engineering students from the northeast and hope to see them all on Purdue’s campus in the future. Unfortunately, since we were so busy talking I didn’t get pictures of the students and their families

In addition to the students I also had the opportunity to meet some names and faces that you might have heard of such as the Mythbusters (Jamie & Adam).

Mythbusters (Jamie and Adam) & me

These great guys have been to Purdue’s campus but it was nice to meet them in person. They are both really nice. I would have loved to had to hang out and visit for a bit or blow something up, but we all had to get back to work.

Mayim Bialik
(Big Bang Theory’s-
Amy Farrah Fowler)
& me

After walking blocks in the drizzling rain to catch a cab, David Bowker and I made it to the reception and, looking like a drowned rat, we got to meet Big Bang Theory’s Amy Farrah Fowler.  Mayim (AFF’s real name) has a PhD in neuroscience which is really cool. She was very nice and gracious to these two soaked Big Bang fans.

Josh Wurman w/ DOW
Storm Chasers (Discovery Channel)
& me

Living in the Midwest we hear about tornadoes all the time so shows like Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers really capture my interest, as they let me see tornadoes up-close from the safety of my sofa.  However the truth is that there are men and women in the field everyday who are braving these dangerous elements to try to keep me safe and for that I’m thankful too.  So the opportunity of meeting Josh from Storm Chasers and see the DOW up-close was fascinating.

Well that’s it for the people.  Stay tuned for the more great highlights from Washington D.C.

Ambition

I was reading a book today called “Words on Calm” when I came across something appalling, something I feel that I would never hear at Purdue.  The book itself is just one of those small feel-good Hallmark books that my mom picked up for one reason or another, and most of the things found in it are beautiful little poems about the importance of keeping calm. But this poem astonished me. “While others miserably pledge themselves to the insatiable pursuit of ambition and brief power, I will be stretched out in the shade, singing.”
My first reaction is, why are you singing you useless unhelpful blob? My second reaction is not much better, how can you be happy enough to sing without ambition? My definition of life is something with a pursuit. If we are not aiming for something how can you be living?

I am at Purdue to aim the highest I can. I am pledging myself to pursue genetic engineering, just as every other engineer here is pledging themselves to be successful. We’re not doing it for fame or power, we’re doing it because we realize the sweetest things in life come from accomplishment. Especially selfless accomplishment, aiming to making the world a better place.We realize that we did not choose the easiest route, but that none of us would be happy if we weren’t using our brains to their fullest capacity.

Engineers are people who love efficiency. We like getting things done as quickly and successfully as possible. I can’t speak for the others, however my life would be a waste if I sat back and watched others “miserably pledge themselves to the insatiable pursuit of ambition” as the poem said. Ambition gives us a reason to get out of bed.

As it is the summer and I have been out of classes for about a month now, I appreciate the fast paced environment of college more than ever. So far this summer I’ve worked a few times, seen some high school friends, and sewed a pretty awesome purse, but this is not the type of stagnant life style I could ever keep up for long. I love Purdue because I feel like I’m surrounded by people who would think the same way, the type of people who wake up in the morning and see opportunity in the future and would do anything to achieve it. We would not be happy avoiding ambition and singing by a river instead.

What I Wish I Would Have Known!

If there was one thing I wish I would have known before coming to Purdue, it would be to take more physics in high school.

This is my theory… the more successful you are in college physics is in direct correlation to the amount of high school physics you had. I ended the semester with a B minus. This is the worst grade I have ever received, but also the hardest I have ever worked for.

The classes here are Purdue are not necessarily harder than any I took in high school, in fact the hardest class I’ve ever taken (after Physics 172) was my anatomy/physiology class junior year of high school. The true difference lies in the amount of accomplishment you feel after completing them. In college you cover twice the amount of material in half the time. The work isn’t harder, there is just more of it. It is not out of anyone’s capability, it is just out of some peoples will.

One of my favorite parts about Purdue is that students will put their school work first. We work hard to accomplish that A and will not settle for the bare minimum. We are here to learn. I pay good money to sit in these classes and will not accept from myself or my professors,  anything less than a great education. I’m excited to go back in the fall and work hard. With Physics 172 out the way, I feel like I can tackle any material I set my mind to.

A Cincinnati Summer

This summer is the first summer I’ve had an internship and I’m so lucky to be working for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH. I started May 14th and I have loved every minute since. We had a lot of training and these first two weeks I have just been trying to learn as much about the company and my projects as possible. The great thing about this internship is that P&G actually gives its interns real work to do. My 4 projects I have to complete by the end of the summer will all be used globally by managers and employees.

So here’s how I got this internship: Purdue has an event in mid-September called “Industrial Roundtable”. It’s basically a huge company recruitment event where about 300 companies set up tables on the Memorial Mall and you can walk up and give your resume and talk with company representatives. It’s a great experience – even as a freshman when you’ve only been through about a month of school – because you get that experience of talking to company recruiters and developing your “elevator pitch”. This is basically a 30 second speech talking about yourself (your degree, leadership, etc). I went as a freshman and my resume was mainly high school activities and leadership I had then, but I still got interviews! Recruiters love to see freshman take the initiative and talk with them, and they actually remember you! I know it seems ridiculous because they visit so many schools, but I had a couple of company reps recognize my face and resume the next year.

Anyway, so once you give your resume to as many companies as you want, most of them conduct first round interviews as early as the next day (because the reps are travelling and want to get to the next school). So a company may call you back the next day and then you interview with recruiters (possibly the ones you met at  IR). After that first round interview, a couple weeks later, you will have a second round interview. This is usually with high ups in the company and could potentially be an on-site interview. That is when the company pays for you to come to their offices and interview on location. I had an on-site interview in Cincinnati and it was a great experience being able to see where I could work and interview with more people.

So that’s how I got my internship! I did well in my interviews and got a call in October saying that I was offered an internship. Being able to get work experience is the most valuable thing I think you can do in college. Not only does it look great on resume, but it give you an idea of if you would like doing this particular work in the future. It allows you to change your major or specialty if you discover that you dislike the work associated with it.

I love working here and I can’t wait to fill you all in on my Cincinnati adventures: I’ve already been to a Reds game and tonight a bunch of interns are going to Taste of Cincinnati! Here are me and my roommates eating dinner out a couple of nights ago:

Preparing for Finals

Hi Everyone!

As you can see, this is my first blog with COE recruitment and I’m so excited to be sharing my Purdue experiences with you all! I figured since it is Dead Week (see Dennis’s post below) I would talk about how I am preparing for finals and surviving the hectic work load.

During my first semester here at Purdue about a year and a half ago, I had no idea what to expect from Finals Week and especially the dreaded “Dead Week”. I decided to take the same approach I did in high school and just study for my finals in order as they were coming up. This is NOT a good idea in college. College classes pack in a lot more material and finals tend to be cumulative – so it’s best to spend equal amount of time on everything, as early as possible. I learned the hard way that studying for that Friday final on Thursday was just not going to work here. So as my 4th semester rounds out, I am taking this week as the time to make study guides, finish whatever last assignments I have to do, and continue to get regular amounts of sleep. That’s definitely key. Last semester I started off Dead Week hard and got a lot done, but my sleep schedule never got back on track and I was drained by the time finals week rolled around. This picture from last semester in Hick Undergrad Library at around 2:30 AM during dead week pretty much sums it up:

That’s a very tired and sad Kelly. But this semester I am determined to get a full 8 hours (that’s usually around 5/6 in college terms) a night and keep my sanity up. I would definitely recommend taking this time you have in high school to find out what study habits work best for you and changing it up every so often- you never know! I am happy to have found what works for me and what will hopefully make this finals week a breeze! Well, probably not but at least I know that I will have prepared to the best of my abilities.

How dead is “Dead Week?”

The week before finals at many universities is dubbed “Dead Week,” supposedly because of how you will feel by the time the week is over (head over to the Wikipedia article for an interesting read). So the question remains: how dead is Dead Week?

Well, it really varies from semester to semester. In the fall, my dead week comprised of working deadline-to-deadline, having a project or a paper due from Tuesday until Friday. Needless to say, after many sleepless nights and almost zero time to relax, this picture epitomizes how I felt: 

That’s my roommate passed out on the floor of his room after working on a project for quite a few hours. Thankfully though, I was able to find my bed before passing out to catch up on sleep after my monster of a week.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, sometimes your dead week can be pretty mild: you might have one or two papers/projects to finish up, but after that you are set to go to start studying for your finals the following week.

During dead week, the university mandates that you cannot have a test or quiz in any class because of the close proximity to finals. Some libraries on campus start to transition to a 24-hour open schedule through finals week, so you can always count on a nice, quiet place to study. It’s nice because sometimes you can pick up some free food/drink while studying. My freshman year, the reps from Red Bull walked into the library with cases of their product and just put them right onto one of the open tables. People from all over the library descended upon the table and within a minute, all of it was gone. When I was studying for finals in the Potter Engineering Library junior year, I got some free coffee, donuts, and snacks that were regularly put out by the staff there.

It seems like the university gets quieter as things wind down and people are finishing up their classes or studying for their exams. Although no one is a big fan of having tests, they are the final gateway to the freedom of summer.

2012 AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition

This past weekend, I was able to see the culmination of two semesters’ worth of work put into an aircraft design for the AIAA Design/Build/Fly (DBF) competition.

Every year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) holds a competition where university teams from around the country and the world get the opportunity to design an RC airplane that can meet three specific mission requirements that are set by the competition planning members. This year’s three mission requirements included:

  • Mission 1: Fly 1,000 foot lap rotations and determine how many can be flown within 4 minutes.
  • Mission 2: Take a 3.75 pound payload of aluminum bars and successfully fly three lap rotations within 4 minutes.
  • Mission 3: Design a mechanism to release 2 liters of water after the plane successfully reaches 100 meters.

I took DBF to fulfill my senior design requirements, but also because I had garnered an interest in it after my two friends (now roommates) had talked about their experiences with the team last year. I had been looking for an opportunity to get experience with going through the entire design cycle of an aircraft, and DBF was exactly that.

The competition this year was held out in Wichita, KS, from April 13th to April 15th, so last Thursday 26 members of the DBF team took a nice 12-hour drive all the way out there. The competition is co-sponsored by Cessna and Raytheon (Cessna’s HQ is in Wichita, and Raytheon’s is in Tuscon, AZ) and the competition location rotates in between the two.

Even though the forecast called for thunderstorms all three days of the competition, the first day turned out to be absolutely beautiful. It was partly cloudy, low winds, and a really comfortable temperature out at the Cessna airfield, where the competition was held. It was also pretty cool, because the airfield is located next to McConnell Air Force Base, home to one of the country’s largest refueling fleets of KC-135s. So all throughout the day, the tankers were doing practice landing runs, and this became a pretty regular site:

Wichita also houses a former Boeing facility, and we got to see a Boeing Dreamlifter (one of 4 planes that was constructed to transport parts for the Boeing 787) make a landing at McConnell as well.

As interesting as seeing the planes land over at the AFB was, the opportunity to see all of these other teams from other engineering schools and their airplane designs was also really neat as well. There were 69 teams in total that entered the competition, but about 60 that actually showed up on-site for flights. Here is a picture of us with our plane:

There’s me on the left, with Lee, the pilot, in the middle, and Jason, the team leader, on the right. The plane itself was constructed using balsa wood and some carbon fiber elements as well. Our plane successfully completed Mission 1 and 2 on the first and second day of the competition. However, on the night of the second day (April 14th) an intense storm system brought a number of tornadoes to the region, including an F4 tornado that struck about 8 miles away from our hotel. The aftermath of the weather left multiple downed power lines that blocked off access to the Cessna airfield, and the DBF competition officials had to cancel the rest of the competition.

We drove back home all day yesterday, and although it wasn’t the best of endings to the competition, it was still a really great experience to go out there, see how our design compared with everyone else’s, and appreciate the engineering talents that all of the schools brought out to the competition.

6 States in 2 Months

Spring is a busy time and this year has been no exception.

As in past years the Dean of Engineering, Leah Jamieson, likes to take some time to meet face-to-face with students who have been admitted to Purdue Engineering along with our Alums in those areas.  The Dean’s Receptions are a great way for students to meet each other as well as learn first hand from our alums about what life is really like after graduation.  This year we’ve held Dean’s Receptions in California, Washington D.C., Georgia and right here in Indiana.

Dean's Reception 2012Dean's Reception 2012In addition to the Dean’s Receptions, the Office of Future Engineers co-hosted an Admitted-Alumni Event at the Shell Eco-marathon in Houston, TX with Shell, Purdue Solar Racing, the Engineering Alumni Association and the Purdue Alumni Association-Houston Chapter.  Approximately 50 people attended the event on Saturday afternoon getting to know each other and cheering on Celeritas the Purdue Solar car. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2012/120326KingCeleritas.html

Last but not least I had the joyous opportunity of driving to Colorado over spring break where my husband and I exchanged vows at a little chapel at Camp Alexander, located near Lake George, CO which is in the mountains behind Pikes Peak. We were blessed to experience a beautiful spring day in the mountains of Colorado as the weather was a sunny 60 degrees.  (Virtually unheard of for this time of year.)

So that’s it; six states in two months.
While I’ve spent a lot of time on the road during the Spring semester, I have still been able to meet and greet many of our prospective students and their families right here on campus. Whether it is here on campus or traveling the nation, I am thankful everyday to have the opportunity to wake up in the morning and go to a “job” that I love.  It’s been said that if you love what you do; you will never work a day in your life.  I believe this to be true.

Office of Future Engineers Blog