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Eli Heindricks | Political Science '21

Majors: Political Science and Economics
Minors: Philosophy and Human Resources Management

Eli Heindricks

My name is Eli Heindricks and I graduated with majors in Political Science and Economics with a certificate in Public Policy and minors in Philosophy and Human Resources Management (it’s a mouthful, I know).

When first deciding what sort of college experience I wanted, I had a few things in mind: academic rigor; career and academic resources for students; employment prospects; university reputation; etc. Purdue University checked off all those boxes for me. When it came to choosing a major, I knew I always had enjoyed U.S. history, politics, and government. It made sense, then, that I was admitted, initially, as just a political science major.

When I first came to Purdue, I expected all those “wants” I listed previously to be what guided my college experience. However, I got much more. The College of Liberal Arts has been integral to my time at Purdue. The support I have received from staff, faculty, and other students really sets the College apart as its own community. I like to think of the CLA as producing a small-college experience with the resources of a Big Ten university!

What I found is that my experience at Purdue has far exceeded my expectations in many ways. For example, the liberal arts core curriculum opened my eyes to new areas of study and ways of thinking I hadn’t considered before, hence the addition of all those academic subjects to my degree plan. Thanks to the help and support of the College’s staff, I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford in the UK. My success at Oxford wouldn’t have been possible without my experiences at Purdue.

At Purdue, I had the opportunity to be involved in several student organizations, including Greek life, the Student Organization Grant Allocation and Student Fee advisory boards, the Intrafraternity Council’s Judicial Board, and Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity. I also worked with a professor in the Honors College to assist with his research. Off campus, I was very involved with Lafayette Urban Ministry, particularly their immigration clinic and Campaign for Hoosier Families. My involvement in these organizations and activities wouldn’t have been possible without Purdue and the College of Liberal Arts.

When it comes to help with internship searches, career help, etc., the College of Liberal Arts does an excellent job of supporting students. The Career Center has been a resource that I, and many students I know, have used often. For me, their help and support enabled me to land an internship with my home district’s representative in Congress. It was a fantastic experience which enabled me to put what I’ve learned in my coursework to action while also getting an idea of what a career in policy work would look like. Thanks to the College of Liberal Art’s Job-Ready Intern program, which provides students taking on low-paying internships with financial support, I was able to participate in the internship. For me, and I’m sure many other students, this support is what enabled me to take advantage of the opportunity.

Now that I’ve droned on for a while, I want to wrap up with some advice for any prospective students. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while at Purdue, it’s to take advantage of any opportunities that come your way. Put yourself out there, take risks, be open to new experiences. Just by being at Purdue and within the College of Liberal Arts, there won’t be a lack of opportunities for you to take advantage of. Now is the time to learn who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there.

Everyone at Purdue -- the staff, faculty, and students -- is here to support you when you fall. If you’re doing it right, you probably will. Purdue will allow you to grow and excel. All you have to do is take that first step.