Question: What inspired you to complete your bachelor's degree at Purdue Polytechnic?
Spitler: I chose Purdue Polytechnic Richmond because of its location, cost and the Purdue education in mechanical engineering technology. Purdue Polytechnic offered a schedule-friendly and affordable continuing education program for non-traditional adult students, like me.
Question: How has the value of a Purdue degree helped you?
Spitler: Upon graduation, my employer offered me a promotion to a newly created engineer position. Additionally, I have used my Purdue degree to gain admission to the University of Cincinnati, where I'm currently pursuing a master's degree in mechanical engineering.
Question: What were some of your favorite classes as an undergrad?
Spitler: My favorite classes included thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, fluid power and applied calculus.
Question: What were some worthwhile experiences from your undergraduate classes?
Spitler: While at Purdue Polytechnic Richmond, I enjoyed working on course projects, discussing application of theory in real-world situations with professors and feeling a sense of accomplishment when a class or project was complete. I know it sounds crazy but I even liked staying up late to complete homework.
Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Spitler: In five years, I hope to have completed my master's degree in mechanical engineering, passed the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam and, hopefully, will be working toward a PE (Professional Engineer) license. Professionally, I hope to receive promotions to an engineering leadership type position, where I can help lead other engineers.
Question: What advice would you give to undergraduate students?
Spitler: Stick with the program and your courses and seek help from staff, if needed. Finishing a bachelor's degree is more of a marathon than a sprint. Many students want to finish school as fast as possible, but that can often lead to being overwhelmed by coursework. Don't be afraid to ask for help from a professor or advisor. For any unasked question, the answer is always "no," and the possibility of another outcome is not considered.
Also, for non-traditional students, don't worry about the months or years it might take to complete your degree. I was often asked how long it will take to complete my degree. Instead, focus on completing however many classes you're able to register for that semester, and it’s just another step in the process. I've found that, looking back on it, what seemed like a very long time to complete my degree went relatively fast.
Question: Do you still live and work in east-central Indiana/west-central Ohio?
Spitler: Yes. I live and work in Eaton, Ohio. My current employer is Henny Penny Corporation, which is a globally recognized manufacturer of commercial foodservice equipment for large restaurants, such as McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, KFC and Wendy's.
Question: Do you use your Purdue education in your job?
Spitler: I use my Purdue education daily in my job. As a service readiness engineer, I'm typically using engineering topics in electricity, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and materials. Additionally, I use Six Sigma process improvement to reduce service part variation and technical writing to create service-related documentation.
Question: What else would you like people to know?
Spitler: I was able to complete my bachelor's degree at Purdue Polytechnic Richmond, while working full-time, along with having a wife and two young boys. Additionally, I have an interest in returning to the educational environment to teach undergraduate courses, should the opportunity ever present itself.