Mukherjee Immerses in Executive-in-Residence Experiences

Asmi Mukherjee

First-year student Asmi Mukherjee’s introduction to Executive-in-Residence came during the enrollment process at Purdue when she was searching for a learning community to join.

“I was looking for something that would get me out of my comfort zone in the sense that it would expose me to something my major wouldn’t,” Mukherjee says. “Executive-in-Residence stood out to me because I’m a people person. I love talking to and meeting people and I thought this learning community would be a great resource in connecting me with alumni.”

The Executive-in-Residence Learning Community, open to students of all majors and class standing, provides members with opportunities to connect with visiting executives who live on campus and interact with students for up to one week at a time. Residents of the learning community receive one-on-one mentoring and professional development opportunities with the executives. There are no required or prerequisite courses associated with the learning community. Executive-in-Residence (EiR) typically hosts four executives each semester.

Students participating in the learning community can also serve as student ambassadors for the EiR program. Ambassadors escort executives to different events on campus and provide assistance at EiR events, which can range from introducing executives to helping facilitate discussions to ensure everything is running smoothly. Students choose which events and times work best with their schedules.

Mukherjee, who is studying genetics and hopes to minor in design and innovation, says one of her favorite aspects of the EiR Learning Community and program is Coffee and Consulting. These sessions allow students to reserve up to a half hour of time to meet one-on-one with executives. Many students use this time to discuss their resumé and career plans or learn about the executive’s areas of expertise. The ease with which the program provides access to high-ranking executives is not lost on Mukherjee.

“People wait months to book appointments with these important people and the fact that we, as college students, get to meet with them to receive advice is amazing,” Mukherjee says.

These sessions and other one-on-one interactions with executives have encouraged Mukherjee to immerse herself more fully in what she’s doing. She pursued and was successful in landing a research position, an atypical path for first-year students, with the Kasinski Lab, where she helps study microRNAs and their functions. She is also part of the publishing team for the Purdue Journal of Undergraduate Research, which publishes outstanding research papers written by Purdue undergraduates. In addition to her academic and research pursuits, Mukherjee serves as an ambassador for the Purdue University Cancer Center and is a member of Night Train Swing Dance Club.

Discussions with executives, Mukherjee says, are helpful as she considers which experiences she wants to pursue at Purdue and how they may connect with her career plans.

“Talking to these people that are high in companies gives me a better sense of what they look for in people when they’re hiring or when they want to work with people,” Mukherjee says. “I think, because I’m just beginning my college journey, this gives me time to keep that under consideration as I expose myself to different things and ensure I’m developing some of these skills. It definitely gives me a lot of insight and helps me frame how I want my college experience to go. If they’re looking for a particular skill that I don’t have, maybe I should try to push myself out there and get experience.”

Mukherjee says conversations with executives are beneficial even when the executive’s areas of expertise fall outside her field of study. Visiting executives during the 2021-22 school year have included entrepreneurs, marketing experts, professionals in the healthcare and cybersecurity industries, and more.

“Going into this, I was a little hesitant to talk to the executives who were in fields that I knew nothing about, like banking or hotel management,” Mukherjee says. “Getting a lot out of those conversations as well, even if they’re not connected to my field, gives me a chance to learn from someone who has decades more experience than I do.”

While graduation is several years ahead of Mukherjee, she plans to eventually attend graduate school. She says she hopes the combination of her genetics major with a planned minor in design and innovation will balance the memorization component of genetics with a minor that encourages creative thinking. She also hopes to continue being part of the Executive-in-Residence Learning Community.

Writer: Matt Vader | Editors: Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic, Danielle Fawbush

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic | Inquiries Contact:

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