Finding my true passion in research

Colin Jamison

After completing my bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry, I realized that I wanted to delve deeper into the field. My internship during my junior year confirmed my interest in research, and without any apprehension, I decided to pursue the PMP at Purdue University.

The PMP helped me progress further in my field, and I worked on battery research under the guidance of Dr. Pol, my mentor. My research work extended from my undergraduate studies to my Master's degree as an academic capstone project. I even stayed an extra semester to finish my research paper.

During my time at Purdue, I also took classes at the business school (Krannert School of Management, now renamed the Daniels School of Business) to understand management, helping me become a critical business thinker. It made me understand how business processes, operations, and finance function. This knowledge gave me an edge when I walked into my current job at General Motors, where I work as a research project engineer in a manufacturing plant that simulates the production of car batteries. My current role at General Motors involves the interface between new battery chemistry development at a lab scale and manufacturing processes. Thanks to Dr. Pol's mentorship, I have been able to accomplish a lot in my current job. For the future, I will hopefully be starting my Ph.D. program in the Fall 2024 semester, pursuing my true passion for academia.

My experience at Purdue has taught me some valuable lessons. The program is very flexible, allowing students to define their own paths. So, I suggest being receptive to advice and seek mentorship when guidance is needed. Consistency is key, whether meeting academic challenges or seeking professional opportunities. Soft skills, like interpersonal capabilities, communication, and an openness to learning and change, are just as important as hard skills when getting your foot in the door at a corporate job.

I highly recommend interacting with professors, peers, research colleagues, and student services team members as learning is not limited to the classroom. My journey at Purdue has been memorable, valuable, and something that I will cherish for life. If you are a prospective student, do not hesitate to seek out opportunities and make the most of your experience at Purdue.