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Mary Caltrider

2020 Graduate
Major: Mass Communication

Mary Caltrider

My name is Mary Caltrider and I graduated from Purdue studying mass communication. I chose my major because of my experience with Purdue athletics. After my first semester as the in-game host for the sporting events, I realized I had a passion for broadcasting. I loved my decision ever since!

I loved being a College of Liberal Arts student because of the size of the college. I knew I wanted to attend a large university, but by being in the College of Liberal Arts, I had the best of both worlds. I was able to have a personal relationship with my professors and faculty, as well as get to know my classmates. For the TV program, because it is smaller, I was able to learn all sides of the production of a newscast.

I was involved in many different organizations during my time on campus. Most of my involvement was in the Purdue Old Masters program. We brought back 10 distinguished and exceptional alumni and hosted them for a three-day program. I was on the central committee that planned the entire event and coordinated with the alumni. I also was a member of Mortar Board, the senior honor society, as well as the Liberal Arts Leadership Council, Big Ten Student U and PurdueTV. My involvements at Purdue were a highlight of my college career. It was where I met my best friends and gained professional experience.

During the spring semester of my junior year, I studied in London, England. I was able to see 10 other countries in Europe during my time there. I enjoyed every moment of my experience and am happy I took advantage of this Purdue opportunity! I am still able to graduate in four years and with honors. My favorite part of studying abroad was that the courses I took provided a fresh perspective. I was able to take courses such as acting, film, and censorship in media.

I have had multiple internships during my time at Purdue. I interned in the public relations department at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The next summer, I was a social media intern for HGTV’s show, Good Bones. Most recently, I interned for WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis. During my time with Channel 13, I was able to be a runner for the NBC Today show’s production at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Buying a mirror for Tom Hanks' dressing room will forever be a highlight of my college internships! The College of Liberal Arts highly encourages internships. For my internships, I was able to take advantage of the job-ready initiative, which provides scholarships for students who are taking on an internship.

My favorite part of Purdue is the people. "Hoosier hospitality" is not just an expression. Whether it is the staff or my peers, the environment here is encouraging. I always felt like I had a bunch of "cheerleaders" who were there for me! It has been an incredible place to grow. While I am sad to leave, once a Boilermaker, always a Boilermaker. It is a forever home.

My advice for prospective students is to look beyond curriculum and major. For me, many of my interests changed. I would focus on the people, environment, and where you find yourself growing the most. You want a school that can feel like home to you! Go where you think you can explore passions (both old and new) and where there is a community to support you through it.