Intellectual Property Council
"I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid, and I love technology; being a registered patent attorney allows me to combine those two interests. I am able to see complex problems solved by innovative solutions and protect such innovations from being exploited by others."
What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?
I majored in Computer Science and minored in Law & Society. I graduated in May 2001 with dinstinction.
What was your most compelling class and why?
I have so many classes that I enjoyed from the CS Department along with the other classes that Purdue offered involving science and liberal arts. I don’t think I can choose one as being the most compelling, because each of the classes I took improved my education for varying reasons. Most of my CS classes taught critical thinking, logic, complex problem solving skills, etc., which are important in my career, whereas my liberal arts classes focused on writing and other skills which are also essential.
What drove you to pursue your current career path?
I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid, and I love technology; being a registered patent attorney allows me to combine those two interests. I am able to see complex problems solved by innovative solutions and protect such innovations from being exploited by others.
Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?
I was involved in numerous extra-curricular activities from volunteering to mock trial and most everything in-between. Being a part of extra curricular activities taught skills that typically cannot be taught in a classroom setting and provided a perspective outside the classroom walls that is invaluable to me today, both from humanitarian and business perspectives.
Was there one person at Purdue who shifted the course of your career?
There were so many people at Purdue who were mentors and who, from the start, supported my interest in pursuing a legal career, which is not a typical path for a CS graduate. While there are too many faculty and staff to mention, Barb Clark and now-retired Jean Jackson played instrumental roles in being supportive, strong, career-driven women with whom I still keep in contact today.
Can you think of any special accomplishments you've achieved after college that you might not have been able to do without your college experiences?
I am humbled to have received a number of awards and have been published a number of times since leaving Purdue. Purdue formed the foundation for my career today. While I may not be programming, the analytical skill set, attention to detail, and focus needed to succeed at Purdue play an important part in my day-to-day career.
What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I worked as a Program Analyst for an IT-consulting company during the day and went to law school at night. After a year, I decided that I didn’t want to take 4 years to complete law school; thus, I transitioned to law school full time, increased my class load, and completed in three years.
What are you currently working on?
My work as in-house counsel is diverse. I support multiple divisions across the globe providing statutory intellectual property (IP) counseling such as invention mining, patent prosecution, and IP portfolio management and strategy. I also provide litigation counseling and handle mergers and acquisitions (M&A) due diligence and IP-transactional matters, such as in- and outbound IP licensing.
What advice would you give to give prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?
Get to know the faculty and staff on a personal level. They are generally willing to provide knowledge regarding not only coursework and navigating your way through your college years, but they have many connections in the marketplace which may help your dream career become a reality. Do not shy away from pursing a non-traditional career path; seek out those faculty and staff who support your interests and request their guidance.
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