Graduating senior continues century-long tradition - Purdue Exponent: Features

Graduating senior continues century-long tradition

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Posted: Monday, December 7, 2009 12:00 am

A fourth generation Purdue student, Brittainy Reiff, will be graduating this December after nine semesters of undergraduate study.

Reiff, originally from Burnettsville, Ind., is a student in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences and comes from a family of alumni, beginning with her great-grandparents who graduated in the early 1900s. For her, the most exciting moment of her Purdue career was when she received her enrollment letter and knew she would continue the tradition.

Her grandfather, also a Purdue alumnus, was thrilled to hear of her acceptance. Although he had recently undergone sextuple bypass surgery and was yet to be active, “He practically jumped up out of his chair to congratulate me!” she said.

Reiff decided to take a semester off and participated in an internship program during the spring semester of her junior year. Relocating far away from family and friends in Miami, Fla., she took a position as a catering manager’s assistant at the Indian Creek Country Club.

During her internship she delegated plans for all golf, croquet and tennis outings, and even met celebrities such as Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods. Looking back on her experience, Reiff said it was well worth pushing back graduation and moving away from Indiana for a semester.

While at Purdue, Reiff has been active in the Purduettes, Purdue Cancer Benefit, HTM Society, Student Philanthropy Council and is a head teaching assistant for HTM 100. Although she has made many fond memories while continuing her education at Purdue University, her favorite was when the Purduettes sang popular songs from the 40s and 50s at the Westminster Village, a retirement home in West Lafayette.

After the performance, one older gentleman thanked the Purduettes and explained that one of their songs was special to him because it was played at his wedding.

“It was so wonderful to sing songs that so fondly affected the residents,” Reiff said. “You could just tell they linked the songs to important events.”

As an active member of the Student Philanthropy Council, Reiff raises awareness across campus about opportunities for graduating seniors to make donations to the University.

“Sometimes people get so wrapped up in themselves and their own lives, they forget about the bigger picture,” Reiff said about donating.

Reiff has accepted a restaurant management position at Longhorn Steakhouse in Boston, Mass., located three blocks from Fenway Park. Her advice to upcoming graduates is not to wait until the last minute to start searching for a job.

“Be proactive and start looking for opportunities now. Be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket and be sure to have many opportunities and interviews,” she said. “There are so many people I know who are graduating in three weeks that do not have jobs!”

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