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Jane Koch

2021 Graduate

Majors: French and Italian Studies
Minor: Military Science and Leadership

Jane Koch

Hello, my name is Jane Koch. I graduated from the Honors College with a double major in French and Italian Studies and a minor in Military Science and Leadership. My hometown is Haymarket, Virginia, about an hour outside of Washington, D.C.

I went to a small private school from first through 12th grade. My graduating class had only 37 students. When I told my college counselor that I chose Purdue, he looked at me and asked me whether I was sure I wanted to go to school as big as Purdue. To this day, I have no regrets about moving to Indiana, a state I had never been to before, to join the incoming class of over 7,000 students.

I was told that I would just be a number in a large pool of undergraduates and that I would feel small and overlooked being in liberal arts and not engineering. I’m happy to report that not once did I ever feel out of place. Purdue was different than all the other schools that I visited.

From the moment I stepped into Beering Hall for the admitted student’s tour, I knew that Purdue was different. I could tell that the faculty, staff, and student ambassadors truly cared about me and what I hoped to get out of my college experience. Their honesty and genuine love for this university affected both me and my family, so when the time came to choose, it was an easy decision.

Purdue provided the support, mentorship, guidance, and friendship that allowed me to step completely out of my comfort zone. During my freshman year, I already knew that I wanted to add another major. The constant support of caring faculty members has given me the confidence to pursue goals that I never envisioned in high school.

My sophomore year, I became a tutor for the athletic department. I also was able to collaborate closely with the Italian Department and CILMAR in an undergraduate internship offered by the College of Liberal Arts. For the first time, I presented in a research symposium, gaining confidence presenting to judges.

I was also able to learn how to teach foreign languages through an undergraduate teaching assistant internship. I was also afforded the opportunity to work with the School of Language and Cultures in a marketing internship promoting the various language programs that Purdue offers. I also traveled to Trieste, Italy with the Italian Department.

I also joined the Army ROTC program. While this added considerable credits to my degree requirements, my academic advisors worked closely with me to lay out a detailed plan that would allow me to still graduate in four years.

Purdue has over 1,000 student-run organizations. I was the media officer for Helping Paws, a club that volunteers to work in county dog shelters. I was also involved in the Purdue Italian Club promoting Italian culture on campus.

Purdue is a special place. Despite being a large school, the campus feels small. There is a true sense of community. On my first tour of Purdue, I was told not to be surprised when people smile at you even if you don’t know them. Now, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. I’m proud to be a part of the Boilermaker family.