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The Online Bridge: Winter 2005
Issue 10, January 2005

Drew & Erin Hiller: MBA Program, Purdue University

I was a student at Taylor from 1994 - 1996 and graduated with an AAR General Diploma. Following my time at Taylor I attended the University of Calgary and graduated in 2000 with a BSc in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology.

My first work experience post-graduation was with Samaritan's Purse on a Canadian International Development Agency Internship. I worked in Mozambique for six months. My two major projects were helping to coordinate a feeding center for malnourished children and a housing project to provide homes to people who had lost everything from a severe flood.

After returning to Canada I spent three years working for Eli Lilly as a pharmaceutical sales representative in the Calgary Area.

In December 2002 I married Erin who I met at the University of Calgary. She is a teacher and was teaching in the Calgary Area.

This past fall we made a major transition in our life and changed from the work world to the life of a student again. I had been interested in pursuing a MBA since my time in University and felt that this additional education would be useful in career and ministry opportunities in the future. After a few years in the workforce, it seemed like the right time to pursue this further. So, in August 2004, Erin and I moved to Lafayette, Indiana so that I could attend Purdue University.

Moving away from Calgary has been an experience that has stretched us and caused us to go out of our comfort zone. We moved here without knowing anyone and had to forge many new relationships. We have met many great people through my school and the programs provided through it. We also faced the challenge of finding a new church family. We have settled at Kossuth Baptist Church and are enjoying the chance to be involved there.

       

In Calgary, we had an established routine. Moving to Lafayette resulted in a major adjustment to our schedules. I am extremely busy at school and put in many hours during the evenings and weekends. Erin has faced the opposite challenge as she transitioned from a demanding job to being unable to work in the USA. She is currently volunteering in local schools but is looking forward to the day when her work papers are approved.

I have really enjoyed my first semester at Purdue. It has been interesting to attend a large American university and meet people from all over the world. Forty percent of the students in my class are international so it has broadened my perspective.

       
 

The information presented in my classes is very practical and relevant. It is much more applied than my undergraduate degree in science so I am enjoying that aspect of it. It is nice to be learning a lot again.

I initially looked into Purdue because my previous employers headquarters (Eli Lilly) is located an hour away in Indianapolis. I had applied to a few schools and was praying that God would make it clear which option to choose. When the decision time came, Purdue became the obvious choice because I was also offered an assistantship to help with the cost of tuition.

As for what will happen after Graduation, I do not know what God has in store for us, but I think that I will likely stay in the health care industry in a marketing role. I am currently looking for a summer internship and am trying to figure out where God wants us after I have completed my program. Erin's immigration has really tested our patience as it is such a slow process and we have no control over the timing. Prayer for patience and the right timing for the completion of all of her paperwork would be great. We also continue to search for ways to get involved and make a difference in our new community.