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My First-Year Experience at the Purdue Honors College

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

I first applied to Purdue’s John Martinson Honors College because I wanted to be part of a community outside of my major and the business school. I was also interested in learning more about interdisciplinary studies. I chose to study marketing because of the program’s focus on both quantitative and qualitative skills, and being in the Honors College only furthered my interest.

My partner and I outside of the Saïd Business school at the University of Oxford.

I enjoyed living in the Honors dorms on campus during my first year, especially since there were opportunities to create tight-knit communities on my dorm floor. The layout of each floor and the shared study spaces made it easy to spend time with other students living in the same area. I got close to the people I lived around and I’m still friends with them today although we don’t live together anymore. Everyone I met in the Honors dorm was extremely kind. I think there’s a lot of pride in being an Honors student, not because of the title, but because of the understanding among the community and the shared passion for learning.

During my first semester, I took an Evolutions of Ideas course that allowed me to apply the leadership skills I learned in high school. It was a hard course about epigenetics, and I don’t have experience in the STEM field. However, it challenged me, and I had fun learning a lot about an unfamiliar topic.

Something I love about the business school is that it has given Honors students the opportunity to take honors courses through the school rather than through the Honors College. I get to be in smaller classes of about 20-30 rather than bigger classes of 500. The classes are also harder, and the professors push you to do your best in these smaller classes.

This is the honors dorm that I lived in during my freshman year.
This is the honors college dorm that I lived in during my freshman year.

During the second semester of my freshman year, I took a master’s management course in which our final project was to write a 20-page paper about a legal topic that interested us. My partner and I chose data privacy. The professor helped the students with the best paper get the opportunity to present it or get it published. At first, I didn’t think I would get this chance. It was only ever a dream for me. However, in June 2022, my partner and I were informed of the International Conference on Restructuring of the Global Economy happening at the University of Oxford in England, and we were invited to go to it. I was able to develop my communication skills and work with my partner as an international team through this presentation. This was a great opportunity for us to showcase our ideas in a really intimidating environment of more experienced scholars. You can read our paper here.

I appreciate that the Honors College puts such a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. Being part of both the business school and the Honors College allows me to pursue my goals but also develop different thought processes. The Honors College encourages diversity in every way and it’s a really healthy concept for freshmen to experience because we interact with people who are so different from ourselves in the best way. When this idea is embraced, it promotes growth within an individual.

Jonathan Putman

Jonathan Putman is a sophomore with a major in marketing, a minor in economics, and concentrations in data analytics and supply chain. He is the vice president of marketing and communications at the business school’s Larsen Leaders Academy and a barista at Greyhouse Coffee and Supply Co. Jonathan also holds a position as a photography and multi-media intern at Purdue’s business school.

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