Cory Mitchell - Engineering Management Student & Peruna Handler

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  • Name: Cory Mitchell

  • Education: Junior EMIS Student at Southern Methodist University Hometown: Corona, CA
  • Target Audience: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School

Why did you choose your major? Did you always know this is what you wanted to do? 
I chose my major because I thought it would be a nice blend between business and engineering. I thought it would give me a really cool skill set to be a value to any company, and I really enjoy it. I always knew this is what I wanted to do – I learned about EMIS at Mustang Monday, and I knew since then that EMIS was what I wanted to do.  


What's a Peruna Handler, and what do you do?
Most of my job happens on game day. The only thing I do outside of game day is going to a secret location to clean up Peruna and get him ready for the next day. On gameday, we pick up Peruna and add some finishing touches. After coming to campus, we walk around with Peruna on the Boulevard and take photos. On the field, we run with Peruna and the flags after touchdowns and in between quarters. 

What is your main role on your team?
As an upperclassman, I make sure that the younger Peruna Handlers know what they're doing and try to help them out - which is what all upperclassmen do. The senior on the team is the captain, and he does a lot of the communication. Other than that, nobody has a distinct role on the team. 

Do you apply what you learn in the classroom on the field?
I do  little bit because I think there’s a lot of coordination of logistics and making sure that all the resources are in the right place at the right time. We also have to to be as efficient as possible because we’re always first to go on because we lead the parade.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? 
I’d like to imagine myself having my own business because I'm enticed by the idea of working a lot but doing something new that I created which is where my engineering and business skills may come in handy!

Do you have any suggestions for how kids can balance STEM interests and sport interests? Any courses you can recommend students to take before college?
They can go hand in hand. Certain activities can allow you to engage in both. Really as long as your time management is there, you’ll be good with whatever you choose to do. Be sure to build your time management skills because you shouldn’t be one sided. I think that AP Literature and AP Language were good for developing my writing skills, and AP Computer Science was a great introduction to Computer Science before college so it wasn't all new to me. 

What was your favorite class growing up? 
I really liked US History. History in general was super interesting to me, but US History was just great!

Are you a first generation college student?
Both of my parents have Associate's degrees, but I'll be the first with a Bachelor's degree!

When did you choose to be a Peruna Handler?
The first week of school when I was a freshman, I didn't know anything or anyone, so I thought it would be really fun to get involved in Peruna Handlers. The thought of being on the field was cool, and I had experience with horses, so it was perfect. I thought it would be a really great and fun experience, and it's been awesome! I'm not excited about next year when it's my last year, because it's been an amazing experience! 

What's a fun fact about you?
I DJ randomly on the side!