Learn about our Science Alumni
College of Science alumni talk about their experiences at Purdue, and their career goals, and give advice to prospective or current students. Select their names to learn more.
Alumni by department
- Biological Sciences
- Computer Science
- Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
- Physics & Astronomy
- Science Education
- Interdisciplinary Science
BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 2007
Radiology Resident Indiana School of Medicine
I interned at Eli Lilly for two summers performing organic chemistry research & spent one summer performing biochemistry research at the IU School of Medicine. I was involved with Purdue Science Student Council & Timmy Foundation, through which I improved my communication & organization skills. I probably learned just as much through my extracurricular activities as I did in the classroom. Medical schools value initiative & volunteerism. They are looking to train not just clinicians, but future leaders & humanitarians.
BS Biochemistry, Minor: Psychology, 2018
Dental Student at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, attend office hours, and seek out the resources you need to succeed and reach your career goals. Faculty and staff are there to help! Utilize them as much as you can!
BS Biochemistry, 2001
Analytical Chest at Eli Lilly and Company
My most compelling class was organic chemistry lab, and I am NOT an organic chemist! I learned so much about analytical instrumentation. I liked the challenge we had toward the end of the semester when we were given a vial with 2 unknown liquids & had to identify what they were. I am a Forensics scientist today, & that type of challenge has always been exciting for me.
BS Biochemistry 2011
Medical Student at Midwestern University – Chicago School of Osteopathic Medicine
My biggest fear upon graduation was that I wouldn't fulfill my career aspiration of becoming a physician. It's easy to settle into adulthood. Who can complain about a steady paycheck & every night & weekend free? With no one guiding my next step, it was difficult to stay motivated. My advice is to find your ambition and act on it. The hardest part about change is taking the first step. Although it is ok to be content, never become complacent.
BS Biochemistry 2012
Medical Student at UTMB Galveston
I participated in undergraduate research & soon realized that while I enjoyed the concept of research, I couldn't spend my life at a bench. I continued doing research & got a job working at St. Elizabeth’s ER as a scribe. My enjoyment for this job helped me decide to go to medical school. I also studied abroad, which got me interested in infectious diseases & international medical relief.
BS Biochemistry (Biology), Minor: Chemistry, 2018
PhD Student at Emory University
Follow your passion and take advantage of the things Purdue can offer related to those passions. If you pursue the things that make you excited and happy, everything else in life becomes a little bit easier and work doesn’t seem so much like work.
BS ASC Biochemistry Honors, Minor: Forensic Sciences, 2016
Take advantage of being a mere walk across campus from your professors. Attend office hours. Participate in events related to your major. Build a foundational network at Purdue while you can that will help you achieve your dreams.
BS Biochemistry 1990
TS/MS Manager at Eli Lilly at Company
My biggest concern upon graduation was whether to go to med school or not. I was offered a job at Eli Lilly and Company & had been accepted to med school. I took the position at Lilly with the idea that if I didn't enjoy what I was doing, I would look at my options at returning to school either for a medical degree or potentially a Ph D in a science field. I encourage you to talk with trusted friends, parents, & counselors about your fears & decisions. Understand all of your options and leave as many options open as possible.
BS Biology 2015
Physical Therapist at Hand and Orthopedics
Step out of your comfort zone! Don’t worry about what friends, family, or peers will think if you join the Grand Prix team or Greek life. If it feels right to you - it probably is! Even if it seems like a struggle, try new things. If it doesn’t work out, it will make you better and more experienced in the end!
BS Biology, Minor: Psychology, 2018
IRTA Fellow at the National Institute of Health
Get to know your professors and go to their office hours! Having connections with them that you maintain is important especially post-grad with them writing you letters of recommendation for graduate/professional school.
BS Biology 2012
Get involved in anything that interests you! If you want to join clubs, join them. If you want to do research, join a research lab. Just do something other than go to your classes. This is where I gained not only the experiences that I will remember forever and make me love Purdue so much, but also where I gained the experiences that helped me get into vet school.
BS Biological Sciences, Minor: Economics, 2015
Product/Business Analyst at a Unicom tech company
Go out and explore. There are so many opportunities at Purdue and you don’t want to regret after graduation. Those internship/co-op opportunities are so important, not all school offer such early career development programs. The volunteering programs are also worth to try. I strongly recommend a program called “learning beyond the classroom” where I met two of my best friends there.
BS Biology, Minors: Spanish & Chemistry, 2017
Medical Student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
I was involved in a research lab all four years while at Purdue. Being involved in research as an undergraduate definitely helped me when I was applying for summer research opportunities last year. I already felt comfortable with a lot of basic lab techniques, reading scientific papers, and giving poster presentations.
BS Biology, BS Psychology, 2017
Clinical Research Associate at Covance
Go to office hours and tutoring help sessions! Best and easiest way to finish homework, projects, and prepare for exams as the TAs and other students are in there to help you as well (often with the same questions or hints to help best prepare for exams).
BS Biology, Minor: English, 2018
Veterinary Student at Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
I would definitely get involved in a club or activity that you’re passionate about. It can range from club sports to dancing to service groups or really anything you enjoy. Purdue has so many activities that you can do outside of class that give you the chance to meet people from all different majors, allow you to de-stress, and get to have experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life. These activities also teach you organization and communication skills you can’t learn in the classroom, which will be invaluable in any job or graduate school you pursue.
BS Biology 2016
Indiana Violent Death Reporting System Epidemiologist at Indiana Department of Health
I held many leadership positions on campus including Greek life and student organizations such as PUDM, Students for Africa, and Out of the Darkness walks. These experiences helped me broaden my horizons to see what I was passionate about.
Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology
BS Biology (Cell, Molecular, Developmental), Minors: Spanish, Creative Writing, Biotechnology, 2017
Research Associate I at Modern Meadow
Spend time developing relationships for every facet of your personality. Your study group does not have to be your friend group, the mentor you go to for personal problems need not be the one you ask about professional ones.
Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology
BS Biological Sciences 2011
Seasonal Marine Mammal Keeper at Brookfield Zoo
I grew up in the state of Indiana and was kind of going in blind when trying to break into this career field. My academic advisor suggested I apply for the Dolphin Quest Hawaii internship. After learning more about the internship program, I decided to go for it! It ended up being one of the best decisions I made for my career, and I learned more than I ever thought possible.
Health and Disease
BS Biological Sciences (Health and Disease), Minor: Anthropology, 2013
Operations Assistant, Project Management at New York Genome Center
Be open to all kinds of experiences and take full advantage of the community. Purdue has a unique advantage of being a college campus where everything can be a testing ground. It is prudent to experiment with ideas during this time and to prepare to be a fully realized individual once the college life is over.
BS Health and Disease Biology, Minors: Women’s Studies, LGBT Studies, Psychology, 2017
I found that when I whole heartedly committed to organizations, I got so much out of it. You’ll hear that in regard to extracurricular activities, it’s about quality not quantity, and I completely agree! Find something you love and GO ALL IN.
BS Microbiology, Certificate: Learning Beyond The Classroom, 2017
Research Technician at IU School of Medicine
Purdue offers so many things that it’s very tempting to try all of them and cram as much as you can into four years. This is an excellent way to burn yourself out. Do try different things but have a focused approach so you don’t lose sight of the reason why you came to Purdue in the first place.
Neurobiology and Physiology
BS Neurobiology and Physiology, Minor: Anthropology, 2013
MS Management – Global Entrepreneurship, 2014
Specialist – Hematology; Miami Florida
It’s okay to change your mind and switch your path. It might take time to find your passion. Get involved in as much as you can to explore all your options and interests while at Purdue.
BS Biology (Neurobiology and Physiology), Minors: Psychology & English, 2017
College is about so much more than just a degree. It's about building important relationships, developing qualities within yourself, pursuing the hobbies and talents you enjoy, learning as much as possible in a variety of different facets, and growing as a person.
BS Neurobiology & Physiology, 2011
PhD Student at Indiana University School of Medicine
People tend to say the real world is less fun, but when you are passionate about what you do, the real world only offers more opportunities. Purdue gave me the foundation to do any kind of science I wanted & I developed a passion for human diseases. With cancer, there are as many types as there are people who have it. This complexity is what drives my career path.
BS Neurobiology and Physiology 2012
Medical Student at Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Within the pre-med culture, I think there is too much of a focus on being involved in activities and taking classes that look good on a resume. While this may be important, I think it is also very important for students to really find and pursue their own passions. Schools are no longer looking for "cookie cutter" pre-meds. Make yourself stand out. Be involved with activities and classes that will not only make you more competitive, but also light you up when you describe them.
BS Neurobiology, BS Physiology, Minors: Psychology & Spanish, 2015
Medical Student at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Purdue is a large school with many resources available to its students. Take every advantage you can to get experience in your field of interest. The worst people can say to you is no.
BS Chemistry, BA German, 2018
Americorps VISTA at Americorps
Talk to everyone. One of the best parts of Purdue is that it’s not weird to strike up conversation with the person sitting next to you in the dining court. You never know what kind of things you could learn or what doors you could open up for yourself.
BS Chemistry, Minor: Forensic Science, Certificate: Learning Beyond the Classroom, 2017
Marketing Project Manager at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Some of the best people you’ll meet are right here in West Lafayette and you won’t always meet them if you do the same things you’ve always done.
BS Chemistry, Minor: Philosophy, 2014
High School Science Teacher at Greenhill School and PhD Student
Take advantage of all the resources and opportunities available! There are so many programs and opportunities to help you be successful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and use the resources available to you. Also do not be afraid to try new things, college is the best time to try something new and maybe find a new hobby.
BS Chemistry, BS Sociology 2016
Graduate Student at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Take advantage of the free help offered for every class! Never feel embarrassed about seeking that help either. I failed my freshman math course, retook it the next semester while attending every session offered through Supplemental Instruction (SI) and my professor’s office hours when needed. I passed the class and later became an SI instructor for that same class so I could help other students after me.
BS Chemistry, BS Biochemistry Honors, Minor: Global Studies, 2015
Paints & Coatings Chemist at Wörwag
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.
BS ACS Chemistry, Minors: Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Statistics; 2017
Formulation Research Specialist at Proctor & Gamble
Don’t be afraid to try things or take opportunities just because you may not like them. Learning that you don’t like something is just as valuable (if not more valuable) than learning that you do like something.
BS Computer Science 2001
Intellectual Property Counsel at Siemens Corporation
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.
BS Computer Science, BS Mathematics, BS Statistics, 2017
Software Development Engineer at Amazon
Purdue has an array of courses and majors. My advice to current and prospective students would be to identify what major you are truly interested in and then excel in it. Try to do at least one study abroad experience. Get involved in organizations, clubs and research groups through which you would gain experience working with people from all around the world. And finally, work hard, have fun, make history.
BS Computer Science 2003
Senior Associate at Luther Consulting, LCC
When I was about to graduate, my biggest fear was finding a job that I would find fulfilling and enjoy doing 40 hours a week. After having several different classes at once on different subjects it was intimidating for me to think of doing the same thing all day, every day. I also feared that I would burn out really quickly. My advice is to try not to worry about it as there are very few jobs that will have you doing the same thing all the time. It turns out that I needed to do database work, web programming, work with clients, prototyping and more . . .sometimes all in one day. Boredom has never been an issue.
BS Computer Science 2015
Software Engineer at Catalyst Software
Try to experience more programs on campus. Actively look for what’s out there. The more you try, the more different you can become. You will understand what you learn more deeply when you apply it in real-life projects.
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
BS Atmospheric Science, Certificate: Learning Beyond the Classroom, 2013
Research Physical Scientist at the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory at the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center
You can’t do everything. Pick a few things you really enjoy and excel at and focus on them.
BS Atmospheric Science, Minor: Natural Resources and Environmental Science, 2013
Senior Hydrometerologist and Technical Lead at MetStat, Inc
My advice to current students, especially those studying atmospheric science, would be to discover what you truly love about the field. There’s a lot more to meteorology and atmospheric science than forecasting and I didn’t truly know all the options that could be ahead of me when I started at Purdue. Talk to your professors, talk to graduate students, and talk to alumni and see what path they took!
BS Planetary Science 2016
PhD Student at the University of Arkansas
Purdue is one of the best universities out there with classes, majors, and extracurriculars for everyone. Find what you are passionate about, whether it be engineering, science, music, teaching, volunteering, or something else and use that passion to fuel your future. What do you imagine yourself doing for the next 40+ years of your life? I guarantee Purdue has an answer for you – be bold and go find it!
BS Mathematics, BS Statistics, BS Computer Science, Minor: Physics, 2015
PhD Student at Stanford University
Take full advantage of the research opportunities and variety of classes at Purdue. There is so much to learn and discover in the world. Always view yourself as an uncompleted project, with more to learn and grow.
BS Mathematics, BS Applied Statistics, Minor: Psychology, 2017
Advanced Analytics Consultant at Slalom
If you don’t take the chance to try you are losing out on the opportunity to learn something new. Some of the best experiences I had at Purdue were things that I wasn’t sure I would be successful at or was just nervous to try. Being involved outside of the classroom was just an impactful as my coursework and made me feel connected at Purdue.
BS Mathematical Statistics, BS Applied Statistics, Minor: Political Science, 2018
PhD Student at Carnegie Mellon University
Almost every amazing opportunity I had at Purdue, from earning scholarships to traveling abroad, can be traced back to me connecting with a faculty member in his/her office hours.
BS Mathematical Statistics, BS Computer Science, Minor: Spanish, May 2018
Machine Learning Engineer for the Houston Astros
I would say that experience is just as important as GPA. Do not forgo the student organization, conference, etc. It can be tough to find a balance between the two, but if you find one or two extracurricular things you’re very passionate about, it’s very doable.
Physics and Astronomy
BS Physics 2012, Entrepreneurship Certification 2012
Physicist at Hope Energy in Johannesburg, Africa
I learned to be brave & take chances in college. I got involved in startups, began a club & gave a few speeches. It pushed me outside my comfort zone & has allowed me to do what I do now with less apprehension & more focus. Everyone has dreams of what they want their life to be, but success doesn’t happen in a montage. Be bold and fearless. #yolo
BS Physics 2012
Programmer at Springbrook Software
During my time at Purdue, I worked at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. At CERN, I worked on the project responsible for verifying the existence of the Higg’s Boson and therefore giving integrity to one of the biggest pieces of the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Without my time at Purdue, my ability to enter into the field so quickly would certainly have been inhibited.
BS Physics 1976, MS Physics and Math Education 1978
Medical Education Consultant for Implantable Medical Devices
I wanted to have a career that involved application of science and engineering but also involved a lot of people contact in the form of education. I was especially interested in doing research and then working on the practical application of that research to real-world problems.
BS Chemistry Education, Minor: EAPS, 2017
High School Chemistry Teacher at Logansport High School
Aside from making connections with fellow students and professors and working hard in classes, being involved in extracurricular organizations and projects is imperative for preparing a boilermaker for their career.
BS Interdisciplinary Science (Chemistry), Minor: Biology, 2014
Optometrist in Muncie, Indiana
Investigate! Purdue offers so many different organizations, clubs, classes, research, and activities. There is something for everyone; sometimes you just have to investigate a little deeper to find the perfect thing for you.
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