Customs chief of staff urges students to "leap" into the
real world from college
By Emmy Mittler
Professional Writing junior
Andrew Maner, bottom
right, meets with department faculty and students during
a fall visit
The transition from college to the workforce is
a huge step, and how you do it will determine your success throughout
life, said department alumnus Andrew Maner, the chief of staff
to U.S. Customs.
Maner shared his tips for making the move from college
to the real world during a speech as part of the Krannert Executive
Forum. He encouraged students to create options for themselves by
trying many different things, and to not be afraid to fail.
Later that afternoon, Maner met with faculty and
graduate students in the Communication Department. He discussed
his own job experiences and the changing fields of communication
and politics. While managing the day-to-day operations of the
U.S. Customs commissioner's office, Maner also advises the commissioner
on such issues as trade, security and policy.
Maner also discussed how his experiences while at
Purdue influenced his career. "It's not only what I studied
here, but what I did. The opportunities that I had to do while I
was here are the total basis for everything I did," he said.
"For example, I never would have gotten my
first internship had I not been encouraged through public relations
classes to join PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America)
and to do real-life public relations for some clients in Lafayette."
Such experience set him apart from other job candidates
after graduation, he said.
He said when people ask him if he attended Purdue
to be an engineer, he responds he is proud to be a Purdue Liberal
Matt Gill, a first-year doctoral student in the
department, said such interpersonal access to alumni are one of
the benefits to a Purdue education.
"I think it's wonderful we have graduates who
are proud to have gotten a degree from Purdue and also willing to
take time out of their lives to come back and support those students
who have decided to get their degree from Purdue," Gill said.
Maner said he really enjoyed interacting with students
during his visit.
"What I loved was being in the classroom,"
he said. "Professors and whatnot are used to this, but you
can actually look at the faces, and there is a third of the people
in the room you're not affecting, there is a third that are like,
'Wow,' they picked up one thing that might change what they're
doing. And then there's the third that are so ecstatic and so
engaged, it just gives you so much energy," he said
"It was a great day. I loved being with the students.
I'd do it again."