Back Home Again in Indiana – – – For now

After a whirlwind trip to Oak Brook IL, Minneapolis MN, and Miami FL, I’m back home in Indiana for a bit.  One the best parts about my job is that it allows me to meet some wonderful and exciting people from around the world both on and off campus.  To be honest, from a young age I wanted traveling to be a part of my job, that along with helping people.  Who knew that I would get to do both at the same time?

It’s a lot of fun to see the light-bulb of ideas switch on when talking to students and answering the sometimes unspoken question, “what do I need all this math and science for?”  For the students who understand a little about engineering, it’s fun to expand that knowledge by talking about the 15 different majors offered at Purdue.  This usually answers the unspoken question, “You mean there is more than mechanical, civil or electrical? What is Theater Engineering?”

While in Miami I had the opportunity to meet an Engineering Alum who became a corporate attorney for Southwestern Bell, which became SBC Global, which bought AT&T.  Wow, what a story he could tell being on the inside of such a trans-formative company.

As good as it was to travel it’s nice to be home.  We are now gearing up for families visiting campus and one of the biggest visit days of the year, February 18th, with Engineering Extravaganza kicking off the start of Engineers Week.   What an exciting time!

Spring Travel- Part 3

Day 2 in the Minneapolis area.

Just had the pleasure of speaking about college preparation, careers in Engineering and Purdue Engineering to 3 different Science classes at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka,MN. The students were great and I’m thankful to Ms. Purdy for this opportunity.

With a last name of Glenn and a wedding date of March 17 (St Patricks), I love trying an Irish Pub/Restaurant wherever I’m at. Today I’m at Kip’s Irish Pub and Restaurant for Lunch.

This afternoon, emails, nap as I’m running on 5 hours sleep, then maybe checking out the St. Paul Winter Festival.

Gotta go soup is getting cold.

Spring Travel- Part 2

The Dean’s Reception in Oak Brook, IL went well. We had about 150 guests which included Engineering Alumni from the class’ of 1941-2012, current students on Co-op in the area, Admitted students, and their guests.

Of the alums I met last night one graduated from Aero-Astro Engineering and is now a patent attorney and another one graduated Industrial Engineering is working in the Biomedical field.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the event.

This morning I was up at 4:30am to catch a flight to Minneapolis, MN where the Dean and I will visit a high school this morning followed by another reception tonight.

Stay tuned for more…

Spring Travel-Part 1

Spring is an exciting time in the Office of Future Engineers. Things are hopping with receptions and big visit days on campus. This year is even more exciting with the arrival of Purdue’s new president.

Today I am headed to Oak Brook, IL with the College of Engineering Dean, Leah Jamieson, and fellow colleagues for the first Dean’s Reception. The reception is a great way for Admitted Students and their families to meet the Dean and hear about her vision for the college. It’s also a great opportunity for them to meet Engineering Alumni and find out where their Purdue degree has taken them.

Having the opportunity to meet our alums and hearing their stories is amazing. Meeting future students is exhilarating. Spending time with a visionary leader like Dean Jamieson is an honor.

I am so thankful to be a part of the College of Engineering and in a small way contributing to the future of our world.

More to come…

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We hope you visit!!

Perhaps I will be the last to say Happy 2013!! One of my resolutions for the year is to blog more. Now I have all my cyber friends(you)out there to keep me honest.  Pressure can sometimes be a good thing.  

Spring semester is on us and that means the students are back in full force  and we are looking forward to tons of admits and prospective students visiting campus. We would love to have you be Boilermakers so come get a feel for campus and see if we are a good fit. Best way to arrange a visit is online via are website.  On the “visit us” page you can sign up for an engineering information session as well as Link to admissions. If you have an engineering specific major in my mind we have contacts for each listed.

 Visit tips – here come the bullets!!  Given my job and Purdue pride these are focused on Purdue although I think it is decent advice( I hope) for most any college visit.  

  •   Attend an Engineering Information Session or one of Admissions Programs if you have not visited (or attend one of these) before. These are great overviews of all the opportunities here and will answer most of the questions that you have.
  • pre-shedule sessions and meetings. Given the large number of visitors in the spring We may not be able to accommodate folks on the spot. This is especially true if you would like to talk with advisors or faculty in a specific engineering major. You will need an appointment.
  • Sign up for sessions and programs as early as possible.  When you are off a school (Presidents Day , spring break) there is a good chance thousands of others are as well and everybody wants to visit on those days. We do fill up quickly during these times.
  • Come on a weekday when school is in session. This will give you a better feel of the excitement and energy we have on our campus. We do not offer Saturday or Sunday visits in the College of Engineering.
  • Double check time zones. We are on Eastern Standard Time and this can sometime surprise those traveling from Illinois.
  • Arrive a bit early. Give yourself plenty of time to figure out parking and one-way streets.
  • Think prior to your visit what are the most important things for me in making your  College choice. Then make sure to ask tons of questions about things that are important to you. Don’t be afraid to ask question of student who may be waiting to get into class or studying in the hallway/ common area.
  • Pick up the school newspaper. Here it is the Exponent.  This gives you a good sense of what are “hot” topics on campus.
  • Eat at the dining courts. The food is fantastic. No joke at all.  It is not inexpensive but it is all you care to eat.  A few admit  programs include this as part of the day.
  • Keep an open mind. Not every day here is sunny, raining, warm or cold. We have all the seasons which makes it fun for all sorts of activities.  Yes the look of a campus may be important to you but realize not anywhere is there a perfect day every day( folks in Cali may disagree).
  • Make some notes. For those of you visiting 5 -10 school, regardless of how unique we all  claim to be:)visits will start running together.
  • Have fun!! Hey you’re not at school and you are exploring what many rank (college) as the best time of your life.  I now you are super busy and bombarded with deadlines, tests and information. While you are on campus try to relax and get excited about your future possibilities.

We hope to see you on campus soon!!!

 David Bowker

 

Balance

Being a college student in engineering and maintaining outside interests can appear to be downright impossible sometimes. I have found in my time here at Purdue that finding balance is the key to keeping my sanity, and actually getting tasks accomplished. I am not going to lie, I would go insane if all I did was homework 24/7. I need to take breaks to do the other things that I enjoy. Whether that be running, playing soccer on an intramural team, reading a good book or just sitting and vegging out in front of the tv.  I am not some robot that can maintain focus for hours on end. I need balance in my life. That is possibly the most difficult thing to learn in college. Not differential equations or heat and mass transfer, but how to find that perfect equilibrium in your life between coursework, socializing, extra-curricular activities, and part-time jobs. There is not magic solution for everyone either, no one size fits all, making this a daunting task. Some people plan everything out, down to the minute whereas others just go with the flow. It comes down to what works for you. It doesn’t matter which type of person you are. Just take the time to figure it out; it will be worth it in the long run.

Summer After Freshman Year

This summer, as many of my class of 2015 counterparts headed off into industry to start their internships, I have found myself as Miss Molly, a camp counselor up in Michigan. At the beginning of the summer I felt as if I was missing out on all of the valuable experiences my friends were getting working for engineering firms around the country. I felt as if I would find myself behind the curve as my peers were not only strengthening their resumes but learning a great deal about their professional fields. However I get to wake up every morning to Revile and help my 5 year old campers get dressed, teach my campers about getting along with others after conflict , and make 75 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a day just to make them happy. This summer for me is more about growing as a person than a student. I can feel myself getting better in stressful situations, gaining patience for things I cannot control, and getting revitalized to get back to Purdue and learn everything I need to know to pave a future for myself. Kids depend of me all day long to be their everything. I am their stand-in parent, their teacher, their mentor, and their rocking chair on those late nights when they miss their parents.

I am indirectly being better prepared for industry through this job. Work is not about preforming the bare minimum. It’s about rising above and beyond and making a difference, just like we’re doing at camp for the young children. Camp counseling is making me both a more creative person and a more employable one. We are not kids. We are the adults. There are not compliments given to us or books to prepare us, we are the definitive people in charge of making or breaking a kids experience. I hope to get back to school in the fall and land an internship so I can utilize all I’ve gained.

Summer at Purdue

This is my first summer staying at Purdue, and I have to say it is not quite what I expected. I am currently taking my last math class, doing undergraduate research, and holding a part time job, so needless to say I am keeping myself busy. Yet I still find myself missing the “normal” Purdue atmosphere. I miss the Big Ten sports. I miss the energy that the full student body brings to campus each fall and spring. I miss all the friends I have made here since freshman year, most of who are around the country with internships, research opportunities, or just relaxing back at home. All of these things I miss are what makes Purdue home to me each fall and spring semester.

Before I get everyone thinking that Purdue is a place to be avoided in the summer I should state that I have some awesome opportunities available to me here. I get to work with a professor on a research project pertaining to a copper alloy he is attempting to patent, something  I would have never gotten to do had I stayed back home for the summer.  I am excited to be able to do some meaningful, real world engineering work while having the flexibility of being able to work and take a class.

There are still plenty of things to do here on (and off) campus during the summer, from intramural sports on campus to going to Chicago or Indianapolis for a day or weekend. The atmosphere on campus is also calmer, quieter from the lack of students, something I appreciate when attempting to do homework on campus. I still miss the hustle and bustle of the fall and spring semester, but something can be said for a break from all the commotion that those semesters bring. So I am savoring my “relaxation” time I have this summer, as I know once I go into the real world and get my full-time job I will miss these days.

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.

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