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  • Writer's pictureGEARE Executive Board

GEARE Pilots New Sophomore Seminar

The GEARE program established a new professional development seminar for sophomores this fall. Sophomores who are new to the program meet for an hour once a week to learn skills to help them find a summer internship and also hear from guest speakers. Our 2025 cohort is the first students to take this class, and so far we’ve reviewed career fair skills, tips for job applications, and hosted guest speakers to share about exciting opportunities both in and outside of Purdue.

Every fall, the Purdue Engineering Student Council hosts the Industrial Roundtable. In order to prepare for this, and other major-specific career fairs, our TAs reviewed each student’s resume, and we discussed how to give a good elevator pitch and stand out to recruiters. Now, as we move into the second half of the semester, we’re focusing on how to apply for summer internships by writing good cover letters and learning how to communicate with companies. Our guest speaker from Shape Corp. talked about interviews from the recruiter’s standpoint. Students listened to a short presentation and were able to ask questions and receive advice from someone in the industry.

We’ve also had other guest speakers come and share opportunities that our students can take advantage of while still in their undergraduate studies. Most recently, a speaker from the EURO office shared about undergrad research both in and outside of Purdue. There are many programs that students can take part in that allow them to start researching as an undergraduate student. We also learned that the EURO office and GEARE are collaborating to help make it easier for GEARE students to find research opportunities abroad that count as an international work experience. We’ve heard about the dual-major program with the liberal arts college, which allows students to earn a second major from the liberal arts college without having to take the core curriculum. Many students take advantage of this by dual majoring in their engineering discipline and the language that they are already studying for GEARE.

Outside of the class’s curriculum, GEARE students are able to meet their peers who might be studying abroad with them. GEARE’s connections with international universities often include multiple majors, so students across different disciplines end up traveling together. Each week there’s a different seating chart based on shared interests or goals. One week we were sitting based on our hobbies, and another week we were sitting based on the languages we are taking. This allows our GEARE students to connect with each while also learning about things that will affect their future careers. Our TAs are also upperclassman members of the GEARE program that have already studied abroad. They help plan the class which allows current students to learn about topics that they will encounter as they navigate their undergraduate studies domestically and internationally as well as working abroad. Overall, this class will prepare us for our domestic internships and the international job market while making some friends along the way.

Ellie Jones

Civil Engineering ‘26

Spanish to Ecuador

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