Business Opportunity Program VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Business Opportunity Program (BOP) undergraduates like Jay Matos (above center) take introductory courses in the summer to prepare them for their freshman year and assist in the transition from high school to college. To learn more about his BOP experience, click here. (Photos by Charles Jischke and Rebecca Wilcox)

Recent BOP alumna Marissa Lyles (BS ACCT ’15) credits BOP with giving her a competitive edge that continues to grow. As valedictorian of her high school in Gary, Indiana, Lyles had scholarship offers from numerous universities, including Purdue.

“Even though both of my parents are Purdue graduates, it was not an easy decision to attend Purdue,” she says. “Once I came for a visit, though, I immediately felt like part of a family. The support network I discovered through BOP was the icing on the cake.”

BOP’s alumni network helped Lyles secure an internship with Deloitte before completing her freshman year. She returned to the company for a second internship in 2013 and began her junior year at Krannert with a job offer already in hand. After a third internship with the company in summer 2014, Lyles began her full-time career with the global accounting and tax firm upon graduation.

Spencer Slaton (BSM ’14), a Chicago native who graduated near the top of his class at Krannert, is another success story that began in the summer program. Although his high school grades and test scores were modest, hard work and the BOP support network led to academic success and internships with BP, Deere & Co. and TVS Motors.

Slaton has since returned to Chicago to take a full-time position as a strategy analyst with Accenture. “My BOP experience turned into a passion for professional development, especially among those who may not have been exposed to the skills and opportunities to help them succeed in the workforce,” he says.

Scholarship recipients Jay Matos and Shannon Moore, both members of the 2015 BOP entering class, are confident that what they learned during the summer will propel them to similar outcomes.

Matos, a native of New Jersey, almost stayed on the East Coast for college until he applied to Purdue and Henry called to tell him about BOP. “That made my decision easy,” Matos says. “The peer and alumni network within BOP is amazing, and I feel like the summer program has given me a leg up on other incoming students.”

Moore, from Detroit, Michigan, wanted to attend a large, top-25 university with a strong business school that would challenge her academically. When she learned about Krannert and BOP during a visit to the West Lafayette campus through Destination Purdue, Moore says she found “the best of both worlds.”

“I knew BOP was where I needed to be,” Moore says. “It has a great support system and alumni network, and I knew the summer program would give me the skills I needed to succeed in my freshman year and beyond. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.”

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