Ashley Kelly sensed during her freshman year that things weren't right. She was a student at DePaul University, not far from her home in Bartlett, Illinois, but something was missing. "The feel of the school just wasn't what I was looking for," she says.
With the support of her parents, Ashley looked elsewhere to continue her education. After a stop in West Lafayette, she was convinced that place was Purdue.
Whatever Ashley had been missing at her first stop, she found in West Lafayette. She'll begin her corporate career where she started academically, in Chicago, as a sales associate for Frito-Lay. She'll learn the company's products and its sales forecasts, and eventually hopes to have her own sales district.
Her extracurricular activities and internships at Purdue helped pave the way. She attended a callout during her first semester on campus for the Management Ambassadors. The students offer tours and advice to prospective students and their parents, and Ashley admired the group's purpose and mission and joined the club.
She also was as an events and marketing intern for Chicago Gateway Green, a non-profit run through the Chicago Chamber of Commerce. She interned with Momentum Worldwide, a global marketing agency, and was an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, serving as a member of the planning committee for Purdue Greek Week.
"Through my internships I had a lot of freedom to develop strategies for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and it helped me improve my time management skills," she says.
She served as a teaching assistant for Professor Chris Berger in a human resources management class, and cites Berger and Les Meade from Krannert's business law area as positive influences on her Purdue experience.
Ashley's experiences at Purdue have convinced her that in this case, the second time was the charm.
"I came to realize that Krannert is like a school within a school," she says. "Everything is analytically and quantitatively based, and it's remarkable how much better I am working with numbers than when I entered.
"I'll leave here knowing that I can compete in the marketplace and that I have a different skillset than the majority of people who will be graduating. I got exactly what I wanted."