Achieving & Succeeding – Rachel Lewandowski

Achieving & Succeeding

Graduation Feature


Motivated Purdue Calumet Dyer student takes advantage of opportunities

Dyer resident Rachel Lewandowski is an example of motivation meeting educational opportunities in anticipation of a successful career future.

While finishing her undergraduate studies as a Purdue University Calumet senior before graduating next week, (12/17), she also has been job interviewing with multiple companies. Additionally, she has been training the intern who will assume her student position in the university’s Office of Human Resources.

Formulating her future

Lewandowski, 28, initially enrolled at Purdue Calumet in 2003, but after a year took a five-year hiatus, during which time she worked in restaurant management, she came to realize her future lay in the human resources field.

“I was doing a lot of the HR tasks – hiring, training, etc.,” she said. “I knew then that this was where I belonged. I came back to Purdue Calumet in 2009 to work on my bachelor’s degree in human resources management.”

Experiential learning classes paramount

She credits two experiential learning classes for being especially helpful preparing her for the work world. While an internship in the university’s Human Resources Department has provided her insights to her career path, she said a management class, taught by Assistant Professor of Leadership Rachel Clapp-Smith, has helped her develop crucial leadership skills.

In the management class, she led a team of peers conducting a toy drive. While doing so, Lewandowski renewed contacts within the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and made new ones via LinkedIn, which prompted her job interviews.

“Rachel is very positive and enthusiastic about her time at Purdue Calumet, and she has used many of the experiential learning opportunities available here,” Purdue Calumet Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beth Pellicciotti said.

Committing to success

Having financed her college education herself, Lewandowski understands the difficulties and concerns many students face obtaining their degree. But with the right frame of mind, motivation and an eye toward the future, the dream of working in a career one truly loves can be a reality, she indicated.

“This is what should happen if you excel, do the (experiential learning) classes and study,” Lewandowski, who has achieved Dean’s List academic status and gained selection to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, said. “College is not a false promise; Purdue Calumet not only delivers on that promise, but also gives you numerous opportunities to be successful.”

Excited about her future

Graduation, a job and marriage next spring are on Lewandowski’s schedule for the near future. She credits many Purdue Calumet professors, mentors, co-workers and others who have been supportive along the way.

“I would like to get into the corporate work world, and I know it takes many steps to get there, but I am definitely on my way!” she said. “Purdue University Calumet has equipped me with all the essential educational tools and real life experience to do so.”