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Internship, extracurriculars, & professors made an impact

Anna Lei, a 2015 Krannert alum, answers 10 questions about her new job and her experiences photo of Anna Lei at graduationat Krannert as an undergraduate student. Anna tells us about her favorite professors, Boiler Gold Rush and an internship that helped her gain a new perspective on the economy, both nationally and internationally.

Q: Where did you go to high school? 

A: Marquette Catholic High School in Michigan City, IN

Q: Why did you decide to come to Purdue as a freshman? 

A: There were a few reasons. My older sister went to Purdue, as well, and she really enjoyed her time there so she kind of convinced me. In addition, I wanted to stay kind of close to home, so I ended up narrowing my choices to Purdue and IU. After hearing that I received the Trustees scholarship, which provided me more funding than IU did, it was a no brainer to attend Purdue.

 Q: What degree did you earn? 

A: I earned a Bachelors of Science in both Management and Economics, with a concentration in Analytic Consulting. In addition, I graduated with Distinction.

 Q: Did you change your major along the way? Why or why not? 

A: I never changed my actual major, but in the beginning I was majoring in Management but was Pre-Med, as well. After a semester of starting the courses I needed to for medical school, I decided it was not for me. I had wanted to be a pediatrician my whole life, but realized I was not interested enough in the courses that I had to take to become one, which I knew was an issue. It had nothing to do with my grades in the courses because I honestly did pretty well, but I just couldn't see myself continuing on that course path on top of all the management classes I would be taking for the rest of my college career.

 Q: Tell me about any internships, extracurricular activities or study abroad experiences that had a lasting impact on you. 

A: I had an internship as a Commercial Banking Summer Analyst with JPMorgan Chase last summer in Chicago. It was challenging, and I honestly think I learned more in my 10 weeks there through real world experience than I ever had before. It gave me a different viewpoint on the relationship of banks and the economy, specifically the reasons for the recent recession. I think that understanding how the recession came about was one of the most insightful things I learned, and it to this day, it gives me a different perspective on how I see the economy, both nationally and internationally.

As for extracurricular activities, two of them stick out. The first is Boiler Gold Rush. I was a member of this organization as both a team leader and a supervisor, and it built my leadership and interpersonal skills. My positions really helped me come out of my shell and understand other people and different cultural backgrounds much better. The second would be my position as Executive Vice President for my sorority, Sigma Kappa. This really helped me learn how to lead and in all honesty, it is the single most important thing that helped me mature in college. I had to deal with many different situations, which really fine tuned my problem solving skills.

Q: Tell me about your employer and what you’ll be doing there. 

A:  My employer is American Airlines. My position is a Revenue Management Analyst. It is in Dallas, Texas at the American Airlines Headquarters. Essentially, my position will aid my department, which is in charge of the pricing of airline tickets. There are two segments: pricing and yielding. Pricing actually watches the airline market to determine where to price certain tickets, while yielding determines how many tickets to offer at certain prices. I haven't started yet, so I am not sure where I will be placed, but it will be one of those two areas.

Q: How did you land your job? 

A: I actually got my job through Krannert's career fair in the Fall of 2014. American Airlines was one of the companies that came, so I visited their information session, as well as the booth at the fair the next day. After, I applied through their online system, and I had a phone interview a few weeks later, followed by an office visit later the next month.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories of your time at Purdue? 

A: Some of my favorite memories involve my week being a team leader for Boiler Gold Rush. It was cool to be able to see my influence on my new students, while just being able to relax and have fun on campus with the other team leaders before classes started. With my supervisor year, the sessions in Elliot during BGR really stood out since we were actually in charge of writing some of the material. Fountain runs and den pop runs will also forever be some of my favorite activities, despite how many times I do them. I was also a member of College Mentors for Kids for a year, and I taught Junior Achievement at Lafayette Schools the following year. Even though these were time commitments, they were some of the most enjoyable times of my weeks being able to hang out with little kids.

Q: Do you have a favorite class, professor or staff member? 

A: One of my favorite classes and favorite professors was ECON 251 taught by Kelly Blanchard. I was only a freshman when I took it, but that class was the reason why I added Economics as a major in addition to Management. It is also where my love of game theory started, which is actually mostly what my job at American Airlines will consist of. Another one of my favorite professors in Cliff Fisher. I actually took two of his classes concurrently, and he was always one of the friendliest professors I ever had. He also challenged me to consider a future career in law, which I am still undecided on, but he gave me a lot of insight into that career path as a possibility.

Q: What advice do you have for incoming Krannert students? 

A: My advice for future Krannert students is to try and build some sort of support network, whether it be through organizations, other Krannert students, or Krannert faculty. I don't know what I would have done had I not had people there when times started to get a little difficult. Another piece of advice is to try to create a balance between work and play. We all know Purdue is not the easiest school to get straight A's at, but you'll drive yourself crazy if you just spend time obsessing over that and don't take any breaks to actually enjoy your time here on campus and make long-lasting friendships. Now that I have graduated, it's not study sessions that I remember most, but the fun times outside of classwork that really stick out. As long as you try your hardest and make time to get your work and studying done, it is entirely possible to have fun and be a successful student at the same time.