Student Spotlight: Erin Hoodlebrink
Life experience is the artisan that weaves the tapestry of our lives. It shapes our character and personality, sets the tone for our journey through life, and moves us from one stage of life to the next. As we gain more life experience, our tapestry becomes more vibrant and colorful. Those who actively pursue and gain many life experiences have the most polychromatic and interesting tapestries. The tapestry of Erin Hoodlebrink is one such tapestry.
Erin Hoodlebrink graduated from IU East with honors and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in August of 2017 after completing a semester abroad in Wollongong, Australia. Since graduation, she has found a work in her field as a Lab Technician at Heartland-Blue Buffalo. Since that time, she and her coworkers have been working hard to get the lab and plant up and running and have been learning about new instruments used in mineral and protein analysis. Erin says that work is both hard and rewarding. She has also pursued her hobby of special effects makeup in more depth and was given the opportunity to work as a makeup artist on the set of The Girl in the Crawlspace, a horror film directed by John Oak Dalton.
Erin credits the preparation and networking opportunities that she received from IU East for her success. The knowledge that she gained from her biochemistry courses allowed her to speak intelligently about different instruments and processes within the lab environment during her interview with Blue Buffalo. Her experience working with the IU East Math and Science Center and volunteering with the Student Activity Advisory Team and the Honors Program helped her to be able to coherently communicate her thoughts so that she can contribute new ideas in addition to listening to what needs to be done. These things, along with the references and advice that she was given from her professors, really helped Erin receive an amazing job offer from Blue Buffalo.
Erin experienced so many new and different things while attending IU East that it is difficult for her to pick a favorite memory from her time here. However, her fondest memories come from all of the different events that were offered on campus, from the Chew and Chats offered by the Honors Program to the events put on by SAAT. These events helped her relieve stress and make new friends, gave her the opportunity to explore subjects that she was passionate about, and taught her to be more independent and to not be afraid to speak up.