Capstone project, key to my success!

Abigail Rachel Pati

Looking back on my experience as a Professional Master’s Program (PMP) graduate at Purdue University, I can't help but feel extremely proud of the growth, learning, and connections that have shaped me over the past year.One of the most significant decisions I made was to stay at Purdue for my master's degree after completing my undergraduate studies in chemical engineering, which was driven by the featured capstone project. This project turned out to be a defining feature of my graduate experience.

The capstone project allowed me to gain firsthand experience in the medical device industry through collaboration with Cook Biotech. Being physically present at the company gave me unique insights into how engineering principles are translated into real-world applications. I was fortunate to not only work on engineering challenges but also delve into the business side of operations, broadening my understanding of the industry's intricate dynamics.

Guided by Dr. William Clark and my manager, I embarked on a mission to optimize a specific device's production process. Initially, I faced challenges in navigating the operational aspects, unfamiliar to me as a chemical engineer. However, through open communication, extensive research, and observing the manufacturing process, I gradually found my way. These problem-solving and critical thinking skills are now crucial assets that I will carry into my professional career.

As I now stand end of my program, I am reminded of the significance of networking. My capstone experience was enhanced by the connections I forged, helping navigate the complexities of the project and securing a meaningful experience. Of all the courses I undertook during my program, my ‘Operations Management’ class proved to be the most impactful. The concepts I learned, including ‘Lean Manufacturing Principles’ and ‘Waste Reduction Strategies,’ aligned seamlessly with my capstone project's focus. This course provided me with practical knowledge that I could directly apply to my work at Cook Biotech, illustrating the tangible benefits of an education that bridges theory and application.

With an eye on the future, my advice to current and incoming students is to actively engage in networking. These connections can open doors to valuable insights, job opportunities, and guidance from those who have treaded the same path before. The power of collaboration and communication cannot be overstated, especially in a world where industries are interconnected like never before.

In conclusion, my journey through the PMP program at Purdue University has been filled with learning, growth, and discovery. From tackling challenging coursework to immersing myself in an industry-driven capstone project, I have emerged as a more confident and capable professional. As I step into the next chapter of my life, I do so with a deep sense of gratitude for the experiences that have shaped me and the connections that have enriched my journey.