Paints & Coating Chemist
"I was most afraid of burnout when I was about to graduate. There are innumerable routes to success and you should listen to your own heart when making the decisions that will chart your course as an adult and young professional. Being in tune with your own life goals and desires will give you the best chance of success, because you know yourself better than anyone else can."
What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?
Major: Chemistry with Biochemistry, Honors
Minor: Global Studies Liberal Arts
Graduated May 2015
What was your most compelling class and why?
The most compelling Purdue class I took was Climate Science and Society because it really shaped my understanding of climate change and the socioeconomic and political forces that drive it.
What are you currently working on?
I am specializing in Technical Customer Service, with an emphasis on greener, waterborne paints and coatings used in the automobile industry. I troubleshoot customer issues associated with properly spraying automobile parts at their site.
What drove you to pursue your current career path?
I have a passion to understand raw materials and how they affect our daily lives. I'm looking for routes to improve the environmental and public health sustainability of products that involve plastics, coatings, and polymers to build a better future.
Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?
I participated in three different research experiences, a multicultural science group, Boiler Green Initiative, and Alumni/Donor Relations for Purdue Bands while at Purdue. Research taught me how to be highly detail-oriented, strategic, and organized when taking on large projects. The clubs taught me how to communicate professionally and organize events that bring about cultural shifts for positive change. These activities aligned my heart and academic focus to creating the kind of world I want to live in.
Are there any special accomplishments you've achieved after college that you might not have been able to do without your college experiences?
Winning a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship at UC Berkeley would not have been possible without the breadth courses and research experiences I acquired in undergrad.
What advice would you give to prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?
Try everything you might be remotely interested in and see what resonates most with you and your goals. Talk to your academic advisors and put your best foot forward to get into new opportunities. Be a part of clubs and organizations that work to implement the changes you value. Make time for yourself even when coursework is challenging. Go to your academic resource rooms (e.g., the Chemistry Resource Room in Wetherill) and make use of office hours to find study buddies and to get your questions answered. Don't be afraid to seek help from CAPS if you find things overwhelming.
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