Tag Archives: First-Year Engineering

Alumni Feature: Courtney Carlstrom

Courtney Carlstrom, BSChE ‘15, Currently Employed By: Ecolab in Joliet, IL

Prior to graduating from Purdue, I worked with the Office of Future Engineers (OFE) as a communications intern. I had the opportunity to support marketing planning, social media management, and present recruitment material to families and students interested in pursuing the First-Year Engineering Program. Working as a social media intern for the OFE had great benefits for me both academically and professionally. It allowed me to gain skills in the area of communications, which allowed me to perform better in my technical classes when I wanted to convey ideas or concepts. It was also a great opportunity to learn how to perform in an office environment, rather than a classroom. Working in the OFE also taught me how to balance projects and was a great model for how to form employee/supervisor relationships.

My supervisors cared about both my academics and my life on campus, which made me feel like part of a smaller community. They also were very supportive of my academic workload, and allowed me to move my work schedule around when necessary in order to keep up with my classes. While on campus I was also involved in the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF), and the Women in Engineering Program (WIEP).

Now that I have earned my chemical engineering degree from Purdue, I am looking forward to being immersed in the first steps of my career – working as a safety engineer at Ecolab in Joliet, IL.

Being Involved: Symphony Orchestra

Kelsey (on right) enjoys a spring day with her roommate and best friend, Mallory (left)

My name is Kelsey Delehanty and I am a sophomore in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue. During my freshman year, most of my school day was taken up with my STEM classes: First Year Engineering, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics. This wasnt a problem for me; after all, I decided to pursue a major like engineering because I enjoyed these types of classes. However, too much math and science still put a strain on my brain, which was why it was nice for me to have a non-engineering related outlet, like Purdues Symphony Orchestra.

Id been playing the viola in my schools orchestra since I was in 4th grade, but upon graduating high school, I was unsure whether I would continue with it in college. I loved playing my instrument, but I was never too serious about it. I was worried that I wouldnt be up for playing in a college-level group.

However, once rehearsals started, my doubts were assuaged. The group was lively and very accommodating of a nervous freshman. I might not have been on the same playing level as the five juniors that made up the rest of the viola section, but I certainly learned a lot from them. Most importantly, it was time out of my day that I could take a break from the stress of my other classes.

There are so many activities to get involved with on campus, and I feel its very important to pick at least one and stick with it.  It could be used as an opportunity to continue with something already familiar, like orchestra in my case, or maybe intermural soccer, or a photography club. It could also be a chance to try something new, a previously unexplored activity, like joining the swing dancing club, or the Purdue Bells.

Doing engineering 24/7 no matter how much I like it would probably drive me insane. I was glad I was able to find an enjoyable pastime to distract me from the stress of my schoolwork and I would certainly recommend the strategy to any other future engineers.

Women In Engineering Program (WIEP) Event

Last night I helped run a booth for PSEF at a Women in Engineering (WIEP) event.There was a great turn out and girls asked a ton of great questions so I thought I’d blog about a few of the frequent questions girls asked last night. I often got, are the classes really as scary as people make them out to be? You will often hear that first year engineering is just one huge weed out process, but I have found that as long as you keep up with your work, you’ll do just fine. It’s true that you know longer have your parents there to remind you to do your homework, but chances are that if you’re interested in Purdue Engineering, they probably don’t have to anyway.

I also got asked about whether or not they they had to know what type of engineering they wanted to go into before they got here.  All first year engineers start off as just that, First-Year Engineers (FYE’s). You don’t declare which school you want to be in until sophomore year. All FYE’s are required to take an engineering class that allows them to be exposed to all the different types of engineering disciplines. For example my engineering class is visited by at least two professional schools a week. They come into our class, give us a presentation trying to sell us their school, and then they are there to answer any school specific questions we may have. It’s nice because I came in thinking I wanted biomedical engineering but then learned that biological engineering was more what I wanted. Now I’m even thinking Industrial Engineering, something I didn’t even know what it was until the schools representatives came into my Engineering 131 class.

One last common question was about learning communities. I am in the Women in Engineering learning community and I take the Women in Enigneering Seminar. There is an application for learning communities on your myPortal account (what you used to apply to Purdue). Purdue offers many learning communities, some require you to live with the other members and some require you to take classes. Women in Engineering is a residency hall program that allows me to live with just other women engineers. It’s kind of nice because if I have a homework question, I can just walk down the hall and knock on doors until I find someone who can help me, because we’re all taking virtually the same classes. Another popular learning community is EPICS. This is another residency program where you live with other engineers in EPICS. You also take classes with them and work on a real world project. Many students who do EPICS put it down as real work experience on their resumes because they are projects that are actually implemented by the companies who hire Purdue’s EPICS program.

There are so many great things about being a Purdue Engineer. I never visited campus before I came here, I just knew what high regards Purdue Engineers were held in and knew I wanted it for myself. That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit, everyone should come get a tour of the engineering campus from PSEF! If you’re interested, you can even shadow one of us to our classes. :)

Hello Guys!

My name is Molly Chamberlin and I am a First Year Engineer looking to go into Biological Engineering. I didn’t always know I wanted to come to Purdue.  After my junior year in high school I visited many schools, none of which were Purdue. I’m from South Bend Indiana (around Notre Dame) and the one thing I “knew” for sure was that I wanted to go out of state for college.  Every school I visited had something about it that I liked, and as application time rolled around, I was still completely undecided about where I wanted to end up. This was very frustrating for me, because I had been planning college since sixth grade when I picked up my first “college guide.” So I decided to think about where I wanted to end up, then how I wanted to get there.

I’ve always been drawn to math and science, so in high school I took a lot of those classes.  I knew I wanted to work with cells and genetics in my future so I tried to find majors that could help me do that.  I realized that I had been overlooking Purdue’s engineering program, and not giving it a chance, just because it was close to my hometown. I never visited Purdue; I applied, got in, and signed up for STAR (the freshman scheduling day over the summer).  I was so sure that Purdue’s engineering program was exactly what I needed and wanted to succeed that I didn’t hesitate to come here. I wanted an environment that would push my abilities to their full potential and to be around students who felt the same.

Since I’ve been here I have not regretted my decision.  There is always something to do; whether it is homework or a student organization.  At the beginning of the year I wanted to join the sailing team, Adopt-a-Grandparent, Circle-K, Timmy Health Foundation, Run Club and many other organizations.  There is just so much to choose from.  In the end I chose to joined PSEF (Purdue’s Student Engineering Foundation) and APO (Alpha Phi Omega), which is a service fraternity. Both of these organizations are like family. Between gaining a mentor in PSEF, go Dennis, and “parents” in APO, there are always upper classmen I can talk to if I need help.

I look forward to sharing more about my experiences here at Purdue later, but until then, Boiler Up!