3 Tips to Get the Best Experience Out of Grad School

Sandra Roddenbury

Sandra Roddenbury, Student & Alumni

Welcome future Boilermakers! I know you’re excited to begin this new adventure. To help you get the most out of your time at Purdue, I could give you the typical “thou shalt” advice – do your work, study hard, and stay ahead – but instead, I want to share with you some broader (and actually more fun) goals.

1. Celebrate Purdue's Proud History

You have a strong wind at your back from a diverse and distinguished group of individuals, from the very first class that numbered just 39 in 1874 to the now 450,000+ alumni across the globe.1 Revel in the fact that Astronaut Neil Armstrong, C-SPAN Networks CEO Brian Lamb, and Super Bowl champion quarterback Drew Brees are just a few of the many alumni who have dignified the halls of Purdue.2 Add to that impressive list a superb faculty, including Nobel Prize winners, and you know you’ve found something special. Let the successes and achievements of those who have come before inspire you to make your own difference and to leave your own unique mark at Purdue and beyond.

2. Discover More About the School

Purdue is yours for the taking – the taking of opportunities to explore. With the confidence that you are in the right place at the right time, get to know the university and what it has to offer. For online students, this means to search the website beginning with the About page to get a complete look at the university. Then, visit the many other sites that showcase faculty achievements, available programs and student activities. Read the speeches and open letters from President Mitch Daniels to grasp the rich character of Purdue. If website surfing whets your appetite for something more, go ahead and plan a visit – don’t wait until graduation day. While you are here, have your picture made at the Block P to memorialize the fact that you ARE a lifetime learner; go to a football game or other sporting event; visit an art gallery, attend a concert or theatrical production. It will be time well spent.

3. Connect with Fellow Classmates

Get to know your fellow Boilermakers. Whether you are an on-campus student or an online student, these are the people you will study with, converse with, and, dare I say it…collaborate with (you know… those wonderful group projects!). You will have your close friends nearby to continually strengthen you and have your back, but take this opportunity to expand your circle of friends. Know that there are other students who can enrich your life by sharing their stories and experiences with you. Take the time to get to know them and share with them your strengths, your wisdom, your kindness; you will find that you are the one that benefits the most when you open yourself up to those walking with you on this journey.

The memories you create during your time at Purdue will be lifelong, so make the most of it: Celebrate, Discover, and Connect. And as always -- Boiler Up!

1 “Purdue History,” Purdue University, accessed June 24, 2016, http://www.purdue.edu/purdue/about/history.html

2 “President Tells Graduates They’re Joining a Special Group: Purdue Alumni,” Purdue University, August 7, 2010. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/general/2010/100807FACCommence.html


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*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.