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Being Involved in Something You're Passionate About: Annemarie Heise

There are other options out there besides the typical graduate assistantships for students looking to work. Annemarie Heise, Second-Year MBA student at the Krannert School of Management, tells us more about her untraditional role on campus and how it has helped her personally and professionally.

AnnemarieAnnemarie serves as the coach for the All-American Twirling Team at Purdue. Twirling is something that Annemarie is very passionate about. She started twirling at the national level when she was eight years old. She twirled at her high school and also at Purdue, serving as captain for two years when she was an undergradate student.

 “When I was twirling here at Purdue, I loved it. I just thought that being a collegiate baton twirler was going to be the pinnacle of my twirling career,” said Annemarie. When she was coming back to Purdue for her MBA degree after a career in finance, she contacted the band director to find out about any opportunities. Low and behold, she landed a job as coach for the Purdue baton twirlers. As well as working with the All-American Twirling Team, Annemarie also serves as the technical coach for the Golden Girl, Girl- in-Black, and the Silver Twins.

Coaching is a huge commitment for Annemarie, as she also has her classes and graduate assistantship for the undergraduate Krannert Professional Development Center. She also is heavily involved with Krannert Gear, a student run not-for-profit business within the Krannert School of Management. Annemarie typically works 15-20 hours a week with her twirling team during the fall semester, so finding a balance can often be difficult. However, Annemarie has seen all of her hard work pay off.

Her coaching job has helped her with her future career goals. “Outside of my internship last summer at Johnson & Johnson, being a coach has probably given me the most HR-related skills.” She does a lot of one-on-one training and mentoring with the team. Annemarie was has also worked hard to grow the program. Having just four baton twirlers on the field when she started, there are now 10 twirlers after recruitment at the local, state, and national level. 

Annemarie has a few pieces of advice for students looking at employment opportunities besides the typical assistantships. She says that success is all about finding the right balance. “You might see all of your friends and cohorts getting involved in six different clubs, but you might just have to pick one and really be good at that.” Annemarie also says that surrounding yourself with a great support group helps immensely. She points to her family and two other graduate students as her key supporters.

“You just have to figure out who the contact is and go on Purdue’s websites to find those people. If you’re passionate about one thing or another, Purdue has a way for you to get involved in it.”