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Doing it all—how being a transfer student helped Jaclyn Bryant take control of her education and her business

Finishing two associate’s degrees close to home before applying to four-year universities is not most students’ path to Purdue. However, it was the perfect path for Jaclyn Bryant, a senior  majoring in Purdue’s Animal Sciences with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine. Her goal was to continue her education while still making time to run her family business.

Bryant grew up on a farm in Maryland and can brag that her animals helped give her county’s fair the title of “The Great Frederick Fair.” Bryant and her younger sister were so entwined in livestock production on their family farm that they couldn’t imagine giving it up after they grew out of 4-H and FFA. So, the Bryant girls started running a livestock business, her younger sister caring for the animals at home while she took over social media and marketing while away at school.

Bryant’s educational journey started at Frederick Community College (FCC) in Frederick, Maryland. There, she studied biology and chemistry and earned associate’s degrees in both. When she finished those, she knew she wanted to follow her passion and study animal sciences. Bryant applied to several four-year universities but decided on Purdue because “we have one of the best agricultural colleges focusing on animal sciences in the country. It’s also the most affordable.”

Even though it is only Bryant’s second year on Purdue’s campus, she’s set to graduate in May 2024 and is even assisting in teaching an introductory animal sciences course. Bryant shared, “My biology and chemistry degrees really helped me finish a lot of my prerequisites, so I got to transfer here and focus more on animal sciences and other classes within my concentration.”

Transferring schools is never without challenges, however. Bryant didn’t have the chance to tour Purdue before moving, so adjusting to a bigger university and learning the college layout while everyone else in her classes already knew the campus was difficult. Now, as a teaching assistant, she feels her confusion just helps her relate more to her younger students.

What’s more, Bryant’s favorite part of Purdue is how big it is. “There's an opportunity to take on leadership positions, join national organizations, and travel across the state and country. There are events just for transfer students. My favorite part, though, is the sense of community in animal sciences. A lot of these students are focused on or grew up in agriculture, so you have a sense of belonging and a sense of being in this department.”

Bryant is still deciding on whether she wants to go into grad school or veterinary school after she finishes her B.S. at Purdue, but she plans to continue working for her family’s livestock business either way. “We have been growing my family’s retail meat business, so I really want to go back home, work with my animals on the farm and also practice medicine or continue with another occupation in the agriculture industry.”

Transfer to purdue agriculture

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