Alumna Profile: The Places Purdue Has Taken Me
Oh the places you'll go -- especially if you're a Purdue AAE alumna. For Cathi Chislaghi Roberts, the journey after Purdue has included flying in F-15s and F-16s, working on global consumer brands, and living in Switzerland.
“From a young age, I had a fascination with aircraft,” Roberts says. “I grew up near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where my dad worked as an aeronautical engineer on various aviation programs. I visited several universities with strong engineering programs, but none had the reputation for aeronautics and astronautics that Purdue had and none felt as much like home once I stepped on campus.”
Roberts says the best parts about AAE were the professors and the breadth of course offerings. She says completing her senior design project gave her tremendous confidence as she graduated and starting working.
“My time at Purdue established a basic foundation through education, for sure,” Roberts says. “But, beyond that, I personally grew through all the experiences campus life afforded me – Air Force ROTC, University Choir, Purdue Women’s Soccer Club, St Tom’s and Mortar Board. Certainly, time management became a critical life skill!”
Once leaving Purdue, Roberts spent 6 ½ years in the Air Force and then pursued her MBA, making the switch into marketing. She now works and lives in Switzerland, leading the Marketing and Customer Marketing team for SC Johnson in Europe.
Roberts says, “I still utilize the skills I developed as an engineer to approach problems and think outside of the box. I enjoy that no two days are the same, so there is always a new challenge. You never know where opportunities might lead – as an Assistant Brand Manager on Windex® glass cleaner, I attended the movie premiere of My Big Fat Greek Wedding! With a degree from Purdue AAE, you will learn more than you ever expected and the degree will open doors for you for years to come!”
Roberts says staying connected to Purdue, including following the latest updates and giving back, is important to her.
“I give to Purdue AAE because I’d like to help other students have the same access to the education, research and programs that I was lucky enough to experience,” Roberts says.