Crystal Pittman, a new installation sales representative for Thyssenkrupp Elevator, also began her career as a Boilermaker. Buoyed by a Business Opportunity Program scholarship, she graduated with honors from Purdue’s Krannert School in 2004 with a BS in management and a concentration in management information systems, earning both Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Student in Academics, Service and Leadership awards.

“I wanted an MBA to increase my depth of business knowledge and acumen as well as to build on my entrepreneurial ambitions,” Pittman says. “I picked the IMM program mostly because it was Purdue, but I did look into some other schools. They didn’t offer the work-life balance you get with a residency and online hybrid structure, though, which as a single, working parent is simply not an option. The attentiveness, support and personal touch I got from Krannert made all the difference.”

The international component of the program was a factor for Pittman as well. ”It expanded my horizons and allowed me to become immersed in different social and business cultures,” she says. “That level of exposure and diversity is priceless.”

Since beginning the IMM program in 2016, Pittman has relocated with Thyssenkrupp from Kansas to California with her 8-year-old daughter. She says, “I would love to take my daughter to some of the same places we visited and give her the same opportunities for learning.”


Wendy Teare is a senior program manager at the Boeing Co., where she has worked for 29 years. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois in 1988 with a BS in engineering and in 1989 earned her MS in mechanical engineering at Washington University, St. Louis.

With her technical background and industry experience, she says Purdue was the most logical destination to pursue her EMBA. Still, it was a long journey for Teare, who has three children who range in age from 18 to 22 years.

“When my oldest son was born, I tried to go to go back to Boeing full-time, but realized that it wasn’t the right thing for my family. So I worked part-time for 15 years until I got divorced,” she says. “I paid for that with my career a bit. I had a job, but it was perceived, ‘Oh, Wendy is just here to work. She’s not looking for a career.’”

When Teare returned to the company full-time, her dedication and skill set were rewarded in time. “If Boeing wants you to get an MBA, they’ll pay for it, so when I was given this opportunity, I jumped at it,” she says.

For her, the combination of Krannert’s program schedule and its global focus was the deciding factor. “I looked at similar programs with flexible schedules, but I had to either be gone more often or for longer periods of time,” she says. “Boeing is an international company that is growing its presence worldwide, so the global aspect of Krannert’s program also made it stand out.”

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