Armed with 24 college credit hours as he arrived on Purdue's campus, Brendan Bonner is graduating in May, completing his management degree in three years. And he has made every minute of that time count.
Brendan will begin a two-year rotation in the Financial Leadership Program with United Technologies this summer. Each six-month segment in finance, financial planning and analysis, accounting and operations will take him around the country (or internationally), an opportunity he relishes.
"I've always wanted to travel and experience new cultures," says Brendan, a native of Spring Lake, New Jersey. "My job fits in nicely with what I've been able to do at Purdue."
Brendan completed two study abroad trips, a three-week stint in London and a semester at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He also took part in several case competitions, including one in Germany, and visited 25 different countries during his three years as a Purdue student. He'll add to that total with a trip to Asia between graduation and the start of his new job.
When he wasn't traveling, Brendan was an active part of the campus community. He worked as an advertising representative for the Purdue Exponent, co-founded a club called the Odin Investment Group, which managed a virtual fund of more than $1 million, and was a member of the Management Ambassadors, giving tours and advice to prospective students.
"When I came to visit campus, I was impressed with the interaction I had with the Ambassadors. I thought it would be great to help recruit for the next generation of students," he says.
Brendan credits his participation in case competitions, including a world championship in the Rubicon Contest in Germany, as being crucial in his academic success and his ability to land a job after graduation. "It was a great opportunity to apply the skills we learned in class to real life," he says. "It not only allowed us to showcase our analytical skills, but it forced us to work well as a team and to improve our presentation skills. That's important to potential employers."
Brendan is happy to have wrapped up his degree in three years, but he's more pleased with what he took away from the experience.
"I learned a lot and expanded my boundaries, literally and figuratively," he says. "I tried to fit as much as I could into the time I had, and I think I was successful in doing that."