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Alumni

Second major leads to career turn

Alicia Barnes

Alicia Barnes
BSM '12
Nielsen

Alicia Barnes wasn't headed for a career in marketing. But the more she heard about Nielsen, the more interested she became in the field.

Alicia, a double major in management (with an international business concentration) and political science, spoke to a friend who worked at the global leader in market research. She spoke with Nielsen reps at the SMEF Career Fair, and landed an internship at the company after her junior year.

At the conclusion of the internship, where she worked on the Sara Lee team, she was offered and accepted a full-time position in Chicago following her graduation this spring. Nielsen is known for its analytics and number crunching, but her role is more geared toward the creative side.

"I'll be a specialized analyst," says Alicia, who attended Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis. "I'll be working in new product development. We help test products with consumers and analyze the results to help our clients make improvements."

Alicia chose Purdue over the University of North Carolina, because "I felt like I really fit in." She originally came to West Lafayette as a political science major with aspirations of going to law school. But her minor in management turned into a second major, and a change in career path.

She studied abroad in the Netherlands, was active in the Delta Zeta sorority, worked as a Career Center Ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts, and worked in Purdue's Department of Entomology. "I just did office work...I didn't get near any bugs," she says.

She credits Purdue with preparing her for a career in business—"I'm really impressed with the jobs my classmates have received"—and has special words of praise for Krannert faculty members Patrick Johanns (quantitative methods) and Bob Holland (economics).

"It's been a wonderful experience," says Alicia, who may pursue an MBA in the future. "I have really enjoyed my four years here."