Purdue’s New Graduate Professional Internship

graduate professional internship

Purdue University Recreation and Wellness is excited to announce the launch of its graduate professional internship.

Replacing the current graduate assistantships at Purdue, the new positions will look to provide students a way to get their master’s degree and gain development, all while decreasing cost. “It’s that next step of taking care of people, and that’s really important to me,” said Mike Warren, the director of Recreation and Wellness.

Warren said the idea came out of conversations around the current state of graduate assistantships. While there’s a trend to replace these positions with coordinators to alleviate the time and financial burden on staff and students, he explained he didn’t want to lose the development aspect. That’s when he remembered Purdue Global, the university’s online master’s program. The best part? It’s free to employees.

“I got creative and figured out that if I could hire this intern as staff, after 30 days they become eligible to take Purdue Global online,” he explained. “To me the online creates so many differences because now I don’t have to work around their class schedule; they don’t have to work around it. They can schedule it when they want.”

The two-year graduate professional internship details are as follows:

  • $25,000 salary
  • 29 hours a week
  • Comprehensive and competitive financial package, including health and retirement benefits.
  • Access to the Purdue Education Benefit, which is an online and tuition-free master’s degree, minus minimal fees of $450-$700.

While the extra nine hours a week of work does benefit the department, for Warren it comes down to so much more. He wants Recreation and Wellness to be known for development, and he wants to be able to provide for staff financially. “For me it was the perfect storm and absolutely what I wanted to do,” said Warren. “I wanted to continue to develop campus rec professionals, but I wanted to take care of them as well.”

The first graduate professional internships start July 1, 2020, giving them 30 days before August 1 so they can start their master’s program. Since the applications went up on February 7, 2020, there have been 25 applicants so far. In fact, Warren shared his initial LinkedIn post about the new opportunity was viewed over 2,000 times. The response from the entire community has been unbelievable.

“I think there’s a lot of excitement about it,” said Warren. “I’m excited to see how it moves forward.”

Bonus: Don’t miss the 2018 exclusive story on Recreation and Wellness at Purdue University. You can find the full story here. And if you want to step inside the center, be sure to check out this video tour, only on CampusRecMag.com.

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at heather@peakemedia.com.

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