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Purdue Master's

Spotlight : Student Global Leader

Jessica Kasmerchak

Second-Year MBA Student
Wausau, Wisconsin

Why should a prospective student choose the Krannert School?

"One thing that I wasn’t expecting when I joined the MBA program was the level of support that you receive from various angles.  The faculty and staff are extremely accessible and have a genuine interest in building a professional relationship with their students.  Also, the team based atmosphere really helps to encourage everyone to work together to tackle assignments and projects.  There’s an amazing sense of camaraderie here that I hadn’t anticipated.

Just as importantly, the classes that one takes are extremely relevant to the area you are interested in and I believe that everything that I am taking away from this program is well worth the investment I have made.  The faculty are very well established in their fields and have a great deal of experience to lend to the classroom environment.  They are truly interested in working with you to ensure that you are learning the proper material to assist you in your future endeavors.  They, along with the staff, expect you to not only contribute but to innovate and help to improve the overall Krannert experience, which in turn then enhances the overall learning experience."

 What extracurricular clubs are you in involved in at Krannert, and how have they contributed to your experience?

"I currently participate as the Krannert Senator for the Purdue Graduate Student Government, serving on the Public Information Committee and University Board of Appeals, as well as a member of Krannert Graduate Marketing Association, Outsource, Toastmasters, and the Wine Club. 

I was not able to become as involved as I was hoping to as an undergraduate student due to other commitments.  I made the decision that during my time at Purdue I was going to the make the most of my short time here as a student.  The club experiences that I have had have not only enriched my academic experience, but they have also established camaraderie with my fellow classmates and helped me to build a network of people with whom I enjoy interacting.  I hadn’t anticipated the positive affect that working with so many of these organizations would have on my life, both professionally and socially."

How would you describe the Krannert faculty?

"Coming from a very large program at a much larger university, regularly interacting with faculty was not something I was used to.  I have been thoroughly surprised by the level of responsibility that the faculty feel toward my goal of furthering my education.  In my experience, the responsiveness and availability of the faculty has been impressive and the atmosphere in the classroom has been both productive and engaging."

Your classmates come from a variety of work backgrounds...what have you been able to learn from them?

"Absolutely. There are people in these programs that are at various stages in their professional careers, which creates a very interesting dynamic both in and out of the classroom.  For the vast majority of our assignments and projects we are asked to work in teams.   You will have people from all walks of life working directly with you throughout this program and to witness all of the different perspectives is enlightening.  Everyone contributes in their own ways and as in any diverse situation, one has a great opportunity to grow professionally and personally."

How has the Krannert School helped develop your leadership skills?

"There are a tremendous amount of opportunities to become involved and take on leadership roles within Krannert.  In a team based atmosphere you have to option to be the one to lead your team through different assignments and projects.  Along with this, there are a large number of student organizations to become involved in, all of which have a leadership team that oversees the operation of that organization.  Leadership development is also the focus of a number of activities and assignments that we participate in.   During our Launching Global Leaders class we, along with various individuals we’ve worked with in the past, are asked to complete a lengthy leadership assessment survey.  We are then given a report that details our strengths and areas for improvement.  This report is used several times throughout the year to build off of to help develop those skills that were identified in the initial report."

How would you describe living in West Lafayette?

"Having first been a staff member at Purdue before starting this program, I’ve actually lived here for the past 6 years.  One of the first things I noticed when I moved here was how many people I saw wearing Purdue gear.  The energy on campus is incredible.  People are excited to be a part of this community and they’re proud of their Purdue affiliation.  It’s very safe and relatively quiet area with plenty of options for entertainment."

Away from Krannert...what do you do for fun?

"There are a number of things happening on campus at any given time and students are encouraged to get involved.  I’m involved in several student organizations that have regular events and meetings.  There is a group of fellow Krannert students that venture out to a new restaurant every weekend to explore the area and try new cuisines.  I also have a small dog and take her to the dog park or on the walking trails on campus when the weather permits.  I love the sporting events (both as a spectator and participating) that are a perk of being part of a Big Ten campus.  Of course, you also have your movie theaters, bowling alleys, parks, etc.  Virtually everything that you will need is within a short walk from campus (if it’s not actually right on campus) or a short bus ride away.   All students ride the city busses free of charge, so everything is very accessible."

What do you like most about the Krannert School and Purdue?

"My favorite aspect of being a Krannert student has to be the people I’ve come to know throughout this process, including faculty, staff and my fellow students.  The network you are able to build is impressive and extremely supportive of your personal aspirations.  It is an intense program and at times, but it’s amazing to see how everyone works through it together."

How have you been assisted in your job search?

"Yes, the KPDC has been very helpful in working with me to improve my job searching skills and provide a number of opportunities for possible internships/jobs.  During Krannert Launch we had a number of workshops that focused directly on honing this set of skills to assist us with having those very important conversations and building our network."