Joshua Woods, Class of 2014
College: Purdue University
Degree: B.S. Industrial Management, STEM (Transportation)
Current Profession: Planner I, Connectics Transportation Group
In December of 2018, I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Industrial Management. Of all the ways my time at UA impacted me, the unique experiences I was afforded were probably the most meaningful. I started at UA in 4th grade, and along the way I was able to study abroad in South Africa, visited Charlotte (NC), Albuquerque (NM), Minneapolis (MN) & Honolulu (HI) with the Academic Decathlon team, traveled to NYC & DC with the National Honor Society, and visited Chicago with my class my senior year. I also picked up the saxophone at UA and continued playing in college. This afforded me band trips to Medellín, Colombia, and Dublin, Ireland. Beyond broadening my horizons, all these trips gave me real world insights that I regularly use in my professional life. I’ve spent the past few years working in public transportation, optimizing routes and investigating new travel modes. In each city, I try to sneak away at some point to ride transit there. Those firsthand experiences I got with transit systems all around the globe still help to inform my decision-making process to this day.
Recently, I started a job with Connetics Transportation Group, a transit consulting firm in downtown Chicago. UA Foundation (formerly Friends of UA) connected me with several professionals in my field that helped me find this position and got me in the door. Purdue gave me the academic backing necessary to get in the door, but UA gave me the real-world experiences that set me apart from other candidates, and the professional connections that helped push me over the threshold!