What now for the class of 2016: Ashlaé Nelms

Ashlaé Nelms

As the May 2016 graduates move into their careers, we are profiling a few and finding out their future plans and how they arrived at this point in their lives.


Ashlaé Nelms, Lawrenceville, Illinois

  • Software Developer and Integrator for USAA in San Antonio, Texas


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer graphics technology

Job duties

My duties will include using analytics to help with user experience, helping design the front-end for new web experiences within USAA, wireframing, and user interface/user experience work.

Purdue classes that helped Ashlaé prepare for her job

  • CS 180: Intro to Object-Oriented Programming in Java (USAA’s structure is Java-based)
  • CGT 141: Internet Foundations, Technologies, and Development
  • CGT 411: Contemporary Problems in Applied Computer Graphics (Worked with a team from start to final production; very helpful)

Other ways the college and/or Purdue provided preparation and assistance

I was one of the students in the transition phase from the College of Technology to Purdue Polytechnic Institute, so I got to experience technologies of new and old and also learn to adapt quickly.  Classes are always evolving, just like technology, and it is the same way in industry! Purdue prepared me for everything: learning, mingling, schmoozing, even which fork to use for each portion of a meal.  I’ll forever remember and be grateful for my Alma Mater!

Thanks go to:

  • My mother Michelle Nelms (neé Brown): a College of Technology alumna and the one who made me the person I am today.  She always made me be the best I could possibly be and wouldn’t let me settle for less.  Without her in my life I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now.
  • Jeffrey Vallier, the director of the Purduettes, the female varsity glee club on campus.  He never let the bar drop when it came to being the best as students, musicians, and people.  He made me a better person in my four years at Purdue and gave me opportunities to travel and perform in a college without a music program.

Ashlaé online

Ashlaé was very active with the Purduettes, the Purdue Christmas Show, and was a finalist for the international Voice of McDonald’s contest. She was also the featured vocalist for the premiere of a new Purdue-themed song, “The Power of the Dream.”