Archive | May, 2014

Purdue Construction – Will it EVER stop?

26 May

Raysha Duncan, Purdue Alumni

It’s that time of year again…construction time. Since all (or most) students have left for the summer, it’s time for Purdue and West Lafayette to shut down the roads, paint, erect new buildings and tear old ones down.

Purdue’s Physical Facilities department has an entire webpage dedicated to Construction Notices and Maps letting those of us living and working on campus know what to expect over the summer. There’s even a friendly map that’s updated (monthly!) letting us know what areas will be impacted, traffic-wise. This summer alone there are 5 major projects taking place…  And if Purdue knows the level of inconvenience these projects cause to faculty, staff, and students… then why do the projects?

These large construction projects have to be completed over the summer months. During the academic year, there are 40,000 plus people running around campus and over the summer most of those people go home. Anybody who’s on campus today can see that there is almost zero foot traffic and the cars that are driving around are mainly Purdue vehicles. One of the big projects taking place this summer is the demolition of the Engineering Administration Building (ENAD). This will continue into the fall semester as well (prepare to see a real-life wrecking ball!).

sidewalk closed sign


New buildings can go up while school is in session, but buildings can’t be torn down. The Center for Student Excellence and Leadership is finally finishing up construction and is going to provide a new home for student organizations, student success programs, and academic services – all under one roof.  The Student Success Office moved into the Center for Student Excellence and Leadership on May 13th, just a week after finals ended and right after students went home. All of Purdue’s construction projects are centered on the students. While it may be kind of icky for the three months that school is out, at least traffic isn’t backed up year-round like the road construction in other areas of the state.

Okay, so the timing makes sense…but why so many new buildings? It’s simple really – to bring new opportunities to campus and improve what we already have at such a great university. The new Active Learning Center is breaking ground in Spring 2015, right where ENAD used to be. So, the offices from ENAD get a new home and we get a whole other building right where ENAD used to stand. This new building is going to provide a new learning environment that combines the classroom and the library. This building is just a stepping stone into creating new ways for Purdue students to engage in active learning.

The battle of construction at Purdue may never end, and we may sigh deeply each time we see a fork lift or crane on campus…  But, it’s really all for the benefit of the students at Purdue.

Think Summer

19 May


The spring semester has ended and summer is upon us.  Pat yourself on the back you have made it another semester!  Taking summer classes?  Looking for an internship? What about study abroad? Or even picking up a part-time job? Now is the time to THINK SUMMER.

A summer job is a great way to make a few dollars to pay for various activities or to prepare for the next school year. While many students will rely on the mentality of “any job will do,” others are more mindful about what the job can offer in terms of education. Your choices could also be beneficial for future decisions once you have graduated. These temporary jobs typically can range in three categories:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Career Building
  • Passing Time



Being a young entrepreneur can provide you with a great deal of experience when it comes to developing a business practice. As long as you have a marketable talent or product, you could have a great deal of success starting up a new business using little money.  And starting your own business isn’t as difficult as some may think and it could offer an excellent chance to develop your skills. So, what can be gained from being an entrepreneur during the summer months?

  • Being your own boss
  • Designing your own schedule of pay
  • Developing your own strategies for improvement
  • Practicing marketing skills
  • Developing a sense of responsibility to the business
  • Provides insight to the various aspects of business practices
  • Could potentially turn into a lucrative practice
  • Easily added to a résumé

Career Building

Some jobs available throughout the summer could be beneficial towards your future career. For example, any job that involves communicating with the public can help you gain you valuable skills andPurdue student at work experience. Whether you’re gaining this skill by standing across the counter from a customer or talking to them over the phone, you are gaining valuable communication skills. Regardless of what you’ll decide as a future career, there are jobs that can improve your marketability. Some of the potential benefits from a career building summer job could be:

  • Emphasizing aspects of a job that are related a career
  • Obtaining knowledge of certain criteria for your career path
  • Providing a stepping stone within that organization to obtain a greater position
  • Allowing experience on a small level to determine if you’re on the right path for yourself
  • Improving your résumé by showing experience in related fields

Passing Time

For many students, a job is just a way to pass the summer months and make a few dollars on the side. However, even these jobs can be greatly beneficial to your development both as an individual and a future employee. In some regards, working a variety of jobs before choosing a career path could be more advantageous in the long run. Working a variety of jobs allows you the experience to investigate what types of jobs you enjoy and what types of jobs you really do not.  This experience is vital in picking a successful career.  What kind of benefits could you expect from any summer job?

  • Building character and a work ethic
  • Providing the ability to explore different opportunities
  • Discovering who you are as a person as well as an employee
  • Demonstrates your willingness to work when added to your résumé
  • Could open doors to possibilities you didn’t realize existed

A summer job can be almost anything you need it to be. Whether you want to experience running your own business, improving your career marketability, or just need a job to put gas in your tank – a summer job can do great things for you as an individual. Choose what works best for you and you’ll benefit from the knowledge you obtain. Remember, even menial jobs can offer insight to how the world works.

Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.

College Seniors: You Got the Job! Now What?

12 May

Raysha Duncan Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor

First Day

This blog post could not come at a more perfect time because I just accepted a job offer for the summer! I’m a little nervous because even though I’ll be staying in the Division of Financial Aid at Purdue, I’ll be in a different role and that’s a lot to adjust to in itself. But, for those of you who are going to be going off to a brand new job in a brand new place, you’ve got to prepare for a great first day.

Don’t be Too Nervous

Nervous Cartoon

Photo by: Nervous Gif

There’s nothing wrong with a little case of the nerves, but don’t let them ruin your first day.  Do things to de-stress leading up to your first day: talk to your mom on the phone, walk your dog (or a neighbor’s dog), take a bath, drink some tea, read a book for fun (or binge watch TV shows if that’s more your thing), and think about anything but how nervous you are.

Plan Ahead

I feel like this is my favorite advice to give because if you’re a certified worrier (like me!) it’s always good to plan ahead. You don’t want to be stressed the morning of your BIG first day, so help yourself out the night (…or days) before and get some small stuff out of the way: figure out where you have to park, pack a lunch, plan an outfit (or two if you’re unsure), and make sure you have coffee/tea/smoothie for the morning. Go over the route on how to get to work and give yourself time to get there. You may end up showing up an hour early… But, hey, you weren’t late for your first day.

Accept that it WON’T be Perfect

Because let’s be honest, something will go wrong but you worrying about it won’t make it better. You won’t be able to find the bathroom or call someone the wrong name or spill food on yourself, but you’ll still make it and you’ll still go into work the next day.

Breathe a Sigh of Relief Once the Day is Done

You made it! That was a hard day. Tomorrow will be easier. Good job! Watch some cute cat videos and relax for the night, you deserve it.Sponge Bob breathing

High School Seniors: Prep Some More…

12 May

Raysha Duncan Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor

Andy from the Office dancing

You’ve got your college picked out and you know where you’re headed in the fall. You’ve probably looked into housing and now you’re just waiting to hear back who your roommate is for the year. Senior year is wrapping up, you’ve probably had prom at this point or are going to soon. Summer is on its way! Time to relax! … and freak out about heading to college in a few short months. Here are some things you can do to keep preparing for the big move:

Figure out the Finances

College is an investment. You will be spending a lot of money to get your degree, and you should make sure that you have the first year (at least) figured out before you head off to school. When you chose your college, you probably narrowed your choice down based on the financial aid award. Review that again and make sure you understand it. If you don’t, or want details on how to apply for loans, be sure to call your financial aid office for help. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure things out, know well in advance if mom and dad expect you to pay your half of the bill or how much you need to take out in loans.

Read About What to Expect as a Freshman

Everybody’s college experience is different. I didn’t live in a sorority, so I can’t advise someone on how to ‘go Greek’, but there are people out there who can. It may be summer, but doing some reading on what to expect in college (and how to stay healthy living in a dorm) can be helpful. Also, you’ll be bringing in lots of knowledge that your peers may not have giving you a quick way to bond with your dorm-mates by doling out all the knowledge you learned over the summer.  Carly Heitlinger’s The Freshman 50 e-book is really helpful for students adjusting to college, and so are her blog-posts from her Georgtown days.

Enjoy a Final Summer of Freedom

Cat laying on the sidewalk

Not to sound melodramatic, but this is the last summer before the rest of your life. You’re not in high school cramming in summer reading and working that awful summer job. And once you get to college, you’ll soon learn that your summers are all about getting ahead and you will actually be using them whether that be doing an internship or taking extra classes or working a part-time job in the field you’re interested in. So, this really is your last summer to do what you want to do with your time. You’re not working to get ahead or get in credit hours. Enjoy it! Lay by the pool, work a part-time job, have fun with friends you won’t see until next summer…just enjoy it.


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