Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain

As we reach the halfway mark of this fall semester we are all starting to receive emails from advisors about scheduling appointments to discuss classes for next semester. Amazing! Where has the time gone? I have already had my meeting with my advisor and before I left she handed me graduation papers and said that was our last meeting! I can hardly believe it, being a senior is great but also scary thinking that this time next year I will be in graduate school.

But looking back at my time here so far, I have an incredible experience. I think the key to this is really getting involved on campus, whether through clubs, greek life, a campus job, or taking advantage of our many opportunities to study abroad.

Last week I was able to bring a visiting student to my Children’s Development In Cross-Cultural Perspective class (Psyc 368) and she asked a lot of questions about classes and then mentioned she was interested in minoring in Spanish. So because I too am minoring in Spanish I started talking to her about all the different courses I have taken, the many opportunities there are to practice the language here on campus, and my study abroad experience.

study abroad 1This past summer I spent 7 weeks in Madrid, Spain. I stayed with a wonderful host family and also took classes study abroad 2Monday-Thursday with excursions on Fridays. The courses I took were all taught in Spanish by professors at the University of Nebrija (where we studied). The courses were interesting, but I loved getting out of the classroom and going out to learn. Learn the culture, practice the language, even going to El Museo de Prado (where we learned and study abroad 3got to see the art which we learned about in class), and going on excursions. As a group we went to Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, and Granada. All absolutely beautiful cities with a lot of history. But I would have to say my favorite city was Granada.

Since our excursions were only day trips (on Fridays), that left us the weekend free. So I was able to do a lot of traveling on my own to other cities. I went to Ciudad Real, Valencia, Sevilla, Paris, Barcelona, and Pamplona. The last two cities I visited after the program ended with 3 others who also study abroad 4stayed extra to travel more. We were able to rent an apartment for four nights in Barcelona and it was just a 10 minute walk from the beach! After those days we went to Pamplona, which just happened to be during the Running of the Bulls Festival, or San Fermin. Everywhere you turned people were wearing white and red (the colors of the festival). It was a crazy, fun, all night long (literally) event, but well worth it.

When my 7 weeks came to an end it was sad to leave Madrid, but it was also good to come back home and see family and friends. But I would go back in a heartbeat that is for sure. So my advice to all of you (as always), is to get involved and do the most that you can while you are here at Purdue. The opportunities are endless!

Priscilla Gaona, Senior, Movement & Sports Sciences

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National Team Sales Competition

Wow, this has been a very busy month for me! Aside from my usual school work, I was given the opportunity to represent Purdue University in the National Team Sales Competition hosted at Indiana University. The event is sponsored by 3M and Altria, two very successful companies that often recruit sales students from Indiana University. This unique opportunity was a highlight of my time here at Purdue University because it was an opportunity for me to represent my school in a legitimate competition.

Two weeks prior to the competition, our team was given a fictional case to dissect and analyze. Within the case there were 3 main objectives that we had to complete. Specifically, our company was a salt company that produces a private label of salty snacks and our main objective was to partner with a grocery store to sell these snacks. However, we had to market these 9 new snacks to the Hispanic demographic between the ages of 25-34. Therefore, we had to do a lot of market research on that particular demographic and understand how they spend their money. Furthermore, we had to select a “test market” city with a high population of Hispanics between the ages of 25-34. Last, we had to create a social media marketing plan that would also appeal to the specific demographic of Hispanics from ages 25-34. As you might imagine, this was a very complex case with a lot of different factors coming into play. It was a very challenging scenario and as I mentioned before we had a limited time to prepare. Overall, my team performed very well but we did not make the top 3. There were 21 different universities from around the nation at this event. The winners were the University of Washington, Baylor University, and Northern Illinois University. All of these schools have sales programs and competed at a very high level.

Not only was this event fun because of the competition aspect, it was a fantastic networking opportunity. As I mentioned before, there were students from 21 other universities around the country who we could talk to and learn from. Moreover, the competition had a sales specific career-fair with companies like Google, Whirlpool, 3M, and Altria all there to hire for sales. I encourage all sales students to get involved in the different sales role-play competitions that Purdue University offers.

– Nicholas Warden, Senior, Selling and Sales Management

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Surviving Midterms!

I can’t believe that we are already halfway through first semester! It feels like the first day of school was just a few days ago. At this point, life at Purdue can get pretty crazy. Between homework, group projects, extra-curricular activities, and now studying for midterms it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I think the libraries really are the best place to study. They’re usually much quieter than other places on campus which really helps me focus. However, pumpkin carvingwhile studying is extremely important in order to do well, it’s also important to take a few study breaks to clear your head. My friends and I usually go to the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center (CoRec) to relieve some of the stress that school brings on. There are also so many activities on campus that are great to go to if you’re in need of a break. Go to a volleyball game and cheer on the Boilermakers, watch a free movie at Flicks at Fowler, or just walk around campus with friends! We even carved pumpkins this weekend as a fun study break. This time of year is stressful, so make sure to have some fun too.

Good luck!

Margaret Foutch, Junior, Speech Language and Hearing Sciences

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My Favorite Time on Campus

Zeta 1Happy October! It is officially my favorite month of the year, and favorite time to be on Purdue’s gorgeous campus! This month has been busy with midterms, football, and fall break, but one of my favorite events so far has been my sorority’s bZeta 2arn dance! I am a proud member of Zeta Tau Alpha, and currently serve as ritual chairman on our executive council. Every fall we have a date function where we go to a local farm in the Lafayette area and dance, go on a hayride, have a bonfire, and listen to country music of course! Greek life at Purdue has introduced me to so many life long friends, and has surrounded me with endless opportunities to get involved on campus and become a leader. I am looking forward to what the rest of the semester has to bring with my sorority and can’t wait to enjoy the rest of my junior fall at Purdue.

Boiler Up!

– Rachel Baur, Junior, Human Services

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Tips on Making Grad School Apps Less Stressful

It’s that time of year…I graduate in less than 2 months. Midterms have passed, the semester is in full swing..and on top of everything else I’ve got going on, I am applying to the next step… graduate school! Ahhh!! Since my freshman year, professors have stressed how important grad school applications will be. You need a strong resume, certain GRE scores, an impressive transcript…the list goes on. It’s a lot to take in! It’s a time consuming, intense, and sometimes emotional, process…but at the same time, it’s so exciting! While it can be an overwhelming and hectic process, here are some tips in reducing stress and saving yourself time and energy.

  1. Start early. Seriously, if you are in a major like Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and you know that graduate school is required for you to practice, it is never too early to start researching programs you might be interested in. There are lots of programs throughout the U.S. with a huge range of research opportunities and clinical experiences. Do your homework..and don’t procrastinate.
  1. Make a spreadsheet. Once you have selected a list of schools, make a spreadsheet that organizes all the information you might need to know. What are the admission requirements? GRE scores? Letters of recommendation? Deadlines? tuition? Having all of this information in a centralized location will save you the energy in looking it up repeatedly.
  1. Consult your professors. Profs can be valuable resources in providing program suggestions, helping you select programs that fit your interests, and in guiding you through the application process. Plus, in seeking guidance, you are demonstrating your initiative and drive to pursue your future degree–which your profs will appreciate and respect.
  1. Don’t procrastinate the GRE. I took the GRE last February, right before I left for a semester abroad. Taking it over break was such a great decision. I had plenty of time to study, I wasn’t stressed with classes since the semester hadn’t started, and it was plenty of time in advance in case I needed to retake the exam. It’s just a test. Study, relax, and don’t put it off. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be!
  1. Get a head start on your personal statement. For me, writing my personal statement was the most challenging and time consuming aspect of collecting my application materials. It really challenges you to think about WHY you are applying to grad school, what you want to accomplish, and what you have to offer. The earlier you start thinking about these things, the better your personal statement will be. This is important. Since most SLP/AuD programs don’t require an interview, your personal statement is the only place for you to really express why YOU are the best candidate for their program.
  1. Figure out what YOU want. I am a senior, graduating in December. And it has taken me up until this semester to really understand what path I want to pursue. I had been torn between speech pathology or audiology for the past two years, as I find both career opportunities interesting and exciting. While everyone around you is going to have an opinion or suggestions, remember that graduate school is about YOU. It’s your career, your future. So really think about it. It’s a huge investment–so take the time to reflect so you can make a confident and developed decision.

Grad school can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be stressful. Prepare, get a head start, and stay organized. The more you get done before the semester begins, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your senior year! Keep calm and boiler up :)

– Mallory Rotondo, Senior, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

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October is Birthday Month

Kings IslandHello! Another month has flown by! October is an especially busy month for my family and I. My parents and myself all have birthdays during this month so I have been home for three weekends in a row. This last weekend we celebrated my dad’s birthday (10/18) as well as my aunt’s (his sister). They were born on the same day but two years apart.

On Saturday, when my aunt and cousin arrived in town, we went and supported my two younger sisters as they performed their color guard show in a marching band competition. On Sunday we actually went to King’s Island and it was an absolutely gorgeous fall Stuckey Farmday. The best part about going this late in the season was that no one was there so we got to do everything that we wanted to in the park with little to no waits! On Monday, it was time for me to travel back to Purdue to start my week of classes. Before I began my travels we stopped by Stuckey’s Farm to do some apple picking and bring back some old memories of when my aunt and cousin used to come visit. After we were done apple picking, my parents, two sisters, aunt and cousin all followed me back to Purdue where we had lunch before I went to class. The weekend was so much fun and it was great getting to be able to go home to visit my relatives.

– Jordan Raver, Sophomore, Hospitality and Tourism Management

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Fall at Purdue

purdue fallSeriously? Why is Purdue so beautiful in the fall? It’s my fourth year on campus and seeing the beautiful leaves that have changed colors still shocks me when I’m walking to class. I love fall at Purdue because that means the scenery is changing, football games are still here, Halloween is just around the corner (I LOVE CANDY), and drinking warm apple cider is more acceptable now than in the summer. Also, fall means breaking out those sweaters and tall boots I’ve been dying to wear because who doesn’t love a good sweater? This weather makes me think back to my first fall semester at Purdue, where I immediately fell in love with campus. I can’t wait to attend the next football game and cheer on my boilers! Boiler Up!

– Kylie Boswell, Senior, Hospitality and Tourism Management

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Building Relationships with Professors Early

ScraptheSelfie-Head ShotWe are all scared. You’re in a class of a 1,000 people so you figure you professor doesn’t have time to talk to you. Well, I completely disagree. No matter how big or small the class is, professors are always enthused to meet their students and get to know them. Even if it was a small question, I always went after class to ask my professors. Some professors would have lunches once a week and I would always attend those. Although it can be intimidating sometimes, building lasting relationships with your professors will help you in college. Once I was able to build those relationships, I could always go back to old professors for advice on careers or other classes in that subject area. At some point, you will need a professor to write you a recommendation letter for a club, a leadership position, or graduate school. Believe me, it is far easier to receive a recommendation letter from a professor when they know you very well and can attest to your stellar work ethic in class. In all, professors are human too; they’re just super smart. You will never go wrong by befriending a few professors during your college career.

– Jordan Williams, Senior, Public Health

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Purdue is the Stepping Stone to Your Future

So if you readers did not already know, I am a nursing student at Purdue. I would have to say that one of my favorite things about nursing is all the hand-on learning experience we get. One reason our nursing program at Purdue is so awesome is because students get to start their clinical experiences sophomore year. This year as a junior, clinical experiences become prominent since we have them twice a week, which includes a trip to Indianapolis once a week. Although waking up at 4:30 in the morning every Wednesday to get to the hospital by 7 AM may not be the most appealing thought, I promise it isn’t as bad as it sounds! Early mornings have definitely helped me get on a better sleep schedule, I get a taste of what the working life feels like, and there’s no better way to bond with my fellow nursing students than a two hour car ride once a week. Clinical definitely evokes a large range of emotions, everything from anxiety to aggravation to appreciation. It’s also very satisfying to learn about a disorder or medication in class and then be able to apply the knowledge when I’m working with patients another day that week. It’s nice to be able to get a taste of what my career will consist of after I graduate, and even better to know that I love what I am doing. Whether your major provides the opportunities for you to get experience in your classes or you get the experience from work or internships, I think it is important to get some type of experience that relates to a possible future profession. Even if it ends up being an experience that you don’t want to continue in the future, being able to rule something out is just as important as finding a good fit. As always, what’s most important is that YOU are enjoying whatever it is you’re learning about and the work you’re doing because Purdue is just the stepping stone to your professional future.

– Smaro Spandonidis, Senior, Nursing

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Experiencing Ethnic Cuisine Over Fall Break

Ethnic Expo SignIn my hometown of Columbus, IN there is a street festival that only happens once a year for a weekend. It just so happens that it falls on Purdue’s fall break every year, which is always great for me because I have the opportunity to go.

The festival is called Ethnic Expo and it really allows the different ethnic groups of Columbus to showcase their culture and allow the town to enjoy their cuisine. Booths of different countries line the street of downtown, some booths have many different things to buy, such as jewelry that pertains to the country, clothes, and of course food. This year, the host country was Mexico. Mexico led the parade and got the chance to display more items that are important to the Mexican culture. As someone who is half Mexican, it was a great feeling to see everyone enjoy the food as well as the Ethnic Expohistory.

The weather cooperated this year, so that is always a great thing especially because fireworks are scheduled the last night that Ethnic Expo is active. It’s always great to go to Ethnic Expo, not just because of the food, but also there is an incredibly high possibility of running into familiar faces from high school and being able to catch up and see how people are doing. I’m incredibly happy that my hometown has this every year, because the experience of seeing all the different cultures and ethnicities come together is fantastic.

– Marguerite Lamborn, Junior, Psychological Sciences

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