My name is I-Chun Lee, and I will be graduating this May…
In 2009, I traveled more than 12 hours from my home in Taiwan to the United States to study at Purdue University Calumet, and landed in Crown Point, where I live with my aunt and uncle. My first impression was that everything was so huge. My first burrito was so big that I couldn’t finish it in one meal! The wide open country was so vast. I spoke very little English when I arrived, so I enrolled in Purdue University Calumet’s English Language Program (ELP). At first, I would just smile when I didn’t understand what people were trying to tell me, but the ELP instructors helped me to quickly improve.
The ELP and International Programs Office (IPO) mentors helped me transition to American culture and college life by answering my questions and sorting through my confusion. I was inspired to become an IPO mentor myself. Once my English skills improved, I became a volunteer with the International Programs Office. I met students like me who come from different parts of the world; we exchanged stories about living in the US, and shared our cultures with one another.
Once I began my academic program, I enjoyed working on marketing campaigns with real clients in my classes. I participated on a group project that helped a new company promote their business through Google Adwords. I also collaborated with a team of three other marketing students to win the GfK Next Generation Marketing Research Competition. After winning, we were selected to present at a conference in New York City. Additionally, I also completed an internship with the marketing department at the Horseshoe Casino. Upon graduation, I hope to pursue a career in marketing research and analysis. I plan to stay in the US after I graduate and apply for Optional Practical Training, which will allow me to work and sharpen my professional experience in the US for up to one year.
I hope one day to give back to Purdue University Calumet for what I have gained in education as well as social, cultural, and even professional experiences.
I am proud to be a Purdue University Calumet student and I look forward to becoming a proud and successful Purdue University Calumet alumna.
–By I-Chun Lee