We have the network. Maybe it’s just Purdue’s unique “Boiler up!” cheer, but us Boilermakers can’t go anywhere without at least one stranger shouting it at us. Whether we’re hiking a mountain in Tennessee, sunbathing in So-Cal, backpacking through Europe, or acting as traveling nomads through South America, we’re always running into Boilermakers.
We can accept criticism. This notion even comes with the name. Many, many years ago (circa the 1890s), the Purdue “Boilermakers” rose as an insult from the Wabash College football team. However, it stuck, as us Boilermakers are proud of who we are and where we came from. Instead of taking Wabash’s insulting name to heart, we owned it and embraced it.
We don’t take the easy way out. It’s no secret that Purdue is one of the hardest colleges to get an “A” in and has one of the lowest grade-inflation rates among universities across the nation. Most of us were likely aware of this before even choosing to attend Purdue, but we didn’t care. We’re here to learn and be the best, even if it means working a little harder than everyone else.
We know how to work in groups. It must be some unwritten code (or maybe it is written somewhere, I have no idea) that Purdue faculty are encouraged to make as many projects as possible into group projects. From engineering, to management, to communication, to dietetics – all of us have had the pleasure of doing AT LEAST one group project a semester. Group projects are great for building soft skills and learning how to be responsible for pulling your weight, so by the time we enter the “real world,” we’re basically pros.
We respect tradition, but thrive on innovation. Located in central Indiana, Purdue has long-established itself as a well-respected institution. Maybe it’s just because I go here, but I feel like the Boilermaker network has a special appreciation for tradition. However, we are also a well-known STEM school, ranked as one of the most productive universities in the country – with a whopping 93 patents in 2014. Our innovation doesn’t just stop at STEM majors, though, as technology and entrepreneurial mindsets are emphasized across all majors.
We are diverse. Purdue has one of the largest international student populations in the country. Between classes and on-campus organizations, many Boilermakers have had the opportunity to talk with, learn from and befriend each other, teaching us how to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
We have a strong work ethic. As previously mentioned, getting good grades at Purdue is no easy feat. On top of that, Boilermakers are also passionate about being involved on campus and getting ahead in our careers through internship and co-op experiences.
We know how to come back from a loss. One of Purdue’s many mottos – “one brick higher,” is exemplary of this mindset. After a brand new campus building burned down in 1894, our President at the time – James H. Smart – declared that we would rebuild a new building “one brick higher.” Instead of counting it as a loss and giving up, the Boilermaker community decided to give it another try – and do it even better than before.
We have a strong sense of community. With over a thousand student organizations, one of the best new student orientation programs in the country, and a strong alumni network, Purdue has done a wonderful job at establishing a sense of community among Purdue students. Despite having students from all different backgrounds and cultures, us Boilermakers will always come together in a time of need and stand up for each other.
Purdue has helped shape some extraordinary people, and they’re not even close to being done. Ever heard of Neil Armstrong? Orville Redenbacher? Robert C. Baker (the inventor of chicken nuggets)? Amelia Earhart? You get the point. We are proud to follow in the footsteps of these amazing people, and we all hope to be added to the list of outstanding alumni one day.
We’re prepared for our careers. With the 3rd best university career center nationwide, 340% more on-campus interviews than the average university, and over 1,300 unique employers PER SEMESTER, us Boilermakers are prepared for our careers. Driven and tenacious, we are ready to take on the world.