On the road to success, some people go on a straight path to reach their destination. Others have to drive along the curves and pass every curl that they encounter. For Jared Law-Penrose ’08, from a fresh Messiah student to a teaching and research assistant, and a Ph.D. candidate at the Krannert School of Management of Purdue University, his career path follows an arc that no one would expect.
Law-Penrose came to Messiah with a major in communication. During the fall semester of his sophomore year, Law-Penrose studied abroad in Russia through one of the Best Semester programs of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. This has changed his perspectives and future career in an astonishing way. “The semester itself was incredible and when I came back to Messiah in the spring, I began thinking about a way to return to Russia for a longer period of time,” said Law-Penrose. “During my junior year I approached my advisor with a plan to conduct an independent research project on the way Russian college students consume American media.”
However, the research project required him to withdraw from Messiah for a year, which was his senior year at the time. Law-Penrose then faced the opposition from his parents and academic advisor. Only through his ceaseless determination and achievement could he eventually win their support. “I received the NSEP Boren Scholarship from the federal government to help pay for the time abroad, which in turn helped me get a job with the government after I graduated, which ultimately helped me connect with faculty at Purdue where I am working on my Ph.D.,” said Law-Penrose.
Law-Penrose is currently working on his dissertation at Purdue University. His focus is on demonstrating how training leaders to support their employees’ interests outside of the office fosters a greater sense of commitment, life satisfaction, job satisfaction and performance both on and off the job.
His advice for Messiah students is to explore their interests and weave themselves into their coursework through creating their own major, proposing an independent study, going abroad or working with faculty on unique projects. “Own your education!” said Law-Penrose. “The business world changes so quickly that it would be a tragedy if students simply picked classes they thought would prepare them for a specific job. Learn to think broadly – thankfully at Messiah College you are in an environment that can help you do just that.”