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Larsen Leaders Academy helps out-of-state student find the right fit

Thursday, February 25, 2021

For sophomore James Rudnicki, going to a Big 10 university was a given. He is an out-of-state student and both of his parents are University of Michigan alumni, so Purdue’s Krannert School of Management wasn’t necessarily at the top of the list.

A student tour led him to apply and returning for a second tour for accepted students sealed the decision. “That’s when I learned I was admitted into the Larsen Leaders Academy, which was a really big draw for me,” Rudnicki says.

The academy is for high-performing business students who embrace challenging academic programs, applied learning through hands-on industry projects, professional development opportunities, and internships that prepare them for jobs with global organizations and enrollment in prestigious graduate programs.

“The Larsen Leaders Academy put Purdue a step higher than everybody else because it made me feel like I was an actual person and not just a number attending some other big business school,” he says. “I really felt like I was part of a community, and I got a great offer financially. It goes a long way to making you feel extra special and is designed to help you succeed.”

Thanks to his hard work and taking multiple electives, Rudnicki is also on track to graduate in only three years. “It’s an awesome opportunity to get out into the field faster,” he says. “And from a financial standpoint, it saves me a lot of money so that if I want to come back to Purdue for grad school or other opportunities, I have the freedom to explore those options.”

The culture of Purdue was another consideration for Rudnicki. “The engineering school heritage really passes down so that all the students are really hardworking and driven to succeed, but you have all the fun and the spirit of a Big 10 school,” he says. “I think it’s the best of both worlds.”

He points to an Eli Lilly case competition as an example. he says. “It’s really encouraging and helpful to know that everyone else in the room is just as hardworking and dedicated as you are.”

For these and many other reasons, Rudnicki doesn’t hesitate when recommending Purdue and the Krannert School to others.

“One piece of advice I would give to any prospective student and their parents is that the opportunities at Purdue are virtually limitless,” he says. “It doesn't matter who you are coming in, it matters what you make of it.”