Meet Daniel!

Daniel Ciuca
Daniel Ciuca, M.S., Chemical Engineering, Dec 2022

My experience as a PMP (Professional Master’s Program) graduate in chemical engineering at Purdue University has been a truly rewarding and transformative journey. Having completed my undergraduate studies in chemical engineering at The Ohio State University, the program served as an accelerated version of my previous coursework, focusing on both traditional engineering subjects and project management.

The coursework provided an opportunity to solidify my knowledge in subjects such as fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer, and advanced mathematics. This equipped me with necessary skills as I prepared to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.

One of the most defining moments of the program was the Capstone Project, which served as the culmination of my studies. Collaborating with a fellow student, we worked on a project focused on carbon sequestration from ocean water in partnership with Chevron. This project demanded significant effort and dedication throughout the summer semester. It was a testament to the skills and knowledge we had acquired during the program, and it provided a practical application of our engineering expertise. The Capstone Project was an extremely rewarding experience as well, as my team ended up earning the “Excellence in Professional Master’s Research Award” for our broad scope and attention to detail.

One aspect that I found particularly appealing about the program was its duration. The one-year non-thesis format allowed for a quick entry and exit, which suited my career aspirations. As someone who aims to reach upper management positions eventually, gaining a master's degree in such a concise timeframe was quite advantageous. Additionally, the program's emphasis on business and financial aspects broadened my perspective beyond traditional engineering. Project management courses provided insights into the financial workings of major companies. Analyzing year-end reports and tracking the movement of money within major organizations gave me a holistic understanding of business operations.

Currently, I am employed as a chemical engineer at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in a rotational role where I currently work at a citrus oil and flavorings plant that collaborates closely with industry giants like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. My responsibilities primarily revolve around designing and analyzing piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) to ensure optimal functionality and alignment.

To current students seeking to break through the job market and navigate the program successfully, I offer some tips based on my experiences. First and foremost, I recommend attending in-person career fairs and actively networking with company representatives. In fact, I landed my current job through one of Purdue’s career fairs. I strongly emphasize that engaging with industry professionals, showcasing your skills, and building connections can open doors to exciting opportunities. Additionally, take advantage of resources provided by the university, such as career counseling services and alumni networks. They can provide valuable guidance and support throughout your job search journey.

Furthermore, consider pursuing internships or co-op experiences in industries of interest. These practical experiences not only enhance your resume but also allow you to apply your knowledge in real-world settings. Don't underestimate the power of continuous learning. Stay updated on industry trends and advancements by attending conferences, workshops, and webinars. Seek opportunities for professional development, such as certifications or specialized courses, to stand out in a competitive job market. Finally, maintain a positive attitude and perseverance. The job search process can be challenging, but with dedication and resilience, you can overcome obstacles and find the right opportunity.

In conclusion, my experience as a chemical engineering PMP graduate has been filled with growth and opportunity. The program provided a solid foundation in engineering principles and project management skills, equipping me for success in industry. By staying focused on the academics, actively engaging in networking, and pursuing practical experiences, you can enhance your chances of securing a fulfilling career in chemical engineering!