I am a twenty-one year old senior at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. I will graduate with a degree in both Economics with a focus in Finance and also Applied Philosophy. I grew up in Maxwell, Iowa, a small town just north of Des Moines thirty miles where I graduated from Collins-Maxwell High School in 2008. At Simpson College I have found and explored many interests and passions. Over the past three years I have participated in Residence Life Council, Students in Free Enterprise, Student Government, played football, and other activities around campus. I have worked on campus at the dining hall, as a Residence Advisor, student ambassador in Simpson College Admissions, and worked in the Simpson College Conference Department. Going into my senior year is both exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time but I am very excited for the opportunities that lay before me. Two opportunities I look most forward too are serving as captain on the Simpson Storm football team. I will also be serving as student body president this upcoming year. Both positions will give me provide me experiences in bettering my leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills throughout the year. My future plans are to pursue a career in economic and social development and eventually earn a Masters in Business Administration. Simpson College has provided me with so many amazing experiences to prepare me to excel and succeed in my professional career. Playing football has taught me many life lessons in working in a team setting and being passionate about a groups collective goal. I am also very excited and privileged to have the opportunity to serve as student body president. The people I work with; students, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees, share the same passion I do for Simpson College and providing the best possible experience to the students. As I look forward to the future, my four years at Simpson College will provide me the skills and confidence to possible contribute on a state level.
Posted on Aug 11, 2011
at 2:07 PM
I grew up in a small rural community in central Iowa. My family and I lived on an acreage two miles outside town so I have been surrounded by Iowa’s agriculture all my life. Many of my friends growing up had families who farmed and raised livestock. My family does not have a history of farming, so I have never thought of agriculture as a career path for myself. Leadership Iowa University visited the Iowa Soybean Association in Ankeny, IA were we had the chance to meet with leaders in our states agriculture field. After listening to these people speak about agriculture and how extensive the career options are in agriculture, it seems that it would almost be difficult not to interact with Iowa’s agriculture in some way shape or form. I don’t plan on directly working in the agriculture sector if I do business in Iowa, but I may interact indirectly with agriculture in some way. If there is one notion I have taken from this week at Leadership Iowa University, it would be that the direction you think you are heading in your career may change dramatically and never to count anything out because you may end doing something you never even dreamed you would be doing.
The second part of our day consisted of visiting and listening to some of central Iowa’s stories about very successful innovators. In Ankeny, IA we had a chance to meet executives from; Embria Health Sciences, Kreg Tool Company and Acu-Mold. All three of these manufacturing companies headquarter and manufacturer in Ankeny. Two of the business were started by people who had an idea on how they could improve a process or make an entirely new product because they saw an opportunity to make their own business at what they did every day of their life. It was very exciting to hear that this high level of innovation was happening in our back door. All three businesses provide their products on a national and international level. Stories like these are all over the state of Iowa just proving how innovative the people in the state can be, contrary to popular belief.
The list just keeps getting longer and longer everyday about the opportunities presented to young professionals in Iowa. Today I enjoyed learning more about Iowa’s two biggest sectors, agriculture and manufacturing. The state of Iowa becomes more appealing to a soon to be college graduate with what I have been learning and experiencing at Leadership Iowa University.
Posted on Aug 10, 2011
at 10:47 AM
The state of Iowa has a long lasting history of hard working and talented people living and working in the state. The sectors of agriculture and manufacturing have dominated the business landscape and molded towns all around the state. While we must learn from and honor our past, we must also look to the future of our state to adapt with the fast changing social and economic landscape on a national and global scale. We were asked to reflect on what Iowa is missing for opportunities for businesses or what needs to be improved on. I think Iowa has the resources it needs to be successful, the resources need to be acted on.
Over these last three days I have heard numerous times the organizations and individuals committed to the betterment of Iowa and the quality of life for the residences of the state. We also watched a short clip on how Iowa has started to slowly fall behind in educating our youth compared to national rankings. Historically Iowa has been ranked very high in national rankings and know for our whole education system. What has changed between now and then? It can’t be that are educators had digressed or Iowan’s have lost their intense work ethic. Our state needs to find our ability again to adapt to changing times and become leaders in educators and all other important factors that go into quality of life. We have the resources, we must utilize them.
In our class discussions today we spoke with enthusiasm about the topic of education when none of us are exactly experts in the field. People threw out ideas, reviewed the current system and offered solutions. What did excited me about Iowa and its future. There are many more people just like us at Leadership Iowa University that have the passion and talent to lead this state when the time comes. As we navigate through these difficult times at all levels, Iowa and its amazing resources need to be used at its full potential. The opportunities provided to young people like myself in Iowa, such as Leadership Iowa University, will allow us to use these resources.
Posted on Aug 10, 2011
at 10:46 AM
At Leadership Iowa University today, my class mates and I had the opportunity to travel to both the Iowa State Capitol and Pella, Iowa. In both locations we were exposed to the level of support provided to young professionals in Iowa at the local and state levels. We listened to state legislators, city council members, lobbyists and very successful business people speak to us about the opportunities Iowa provides. The messages and lessons I learned from many of my experiences caught my attention on why starting my career in Iowa would be very worth while decision.
After visiting and touring the amazing facilities at Pella Corp. we traveled to down town Pella and visited a very unique place called, Veel Hoeden. This business offers aspiring and thriving entrepreneurs not only a place to work out of, but also a place to network and communicate in a community type setting. People can rent small office spaces or just come and hang out at Veel Hoeden to bounce ideas off each other or ask for expertise on different aspects of business they may know nothing about. If someday I look to start my own business in a small town I would want resources like this at my disposal. The ability to share ideas and be around people that are just as passionate and driven about their service or product that they provide as you do, would not only be motivating but give me a sense of confidence. This means that I can see and communicate with business people going through both the growing pains that small entrepreneurial business experiences, and also the victories and growths.
Another thing that caught my attention came from meeting a variety of people throughout the day. From listening to speakers, touring Pella Corp. and touring our beautiful State Capitol I picked up a common message from many people we talked to. What was apparent to me is there are many like-minded influential thinkers in Iowa. They may not be like-minded on their political, social or any other beliefs. The important part is they were like minded on one vision, and that is to see Iowa prosper as a state for years to come. Some thought economics was the key to prosperity for the state, others thought quality of life, and I am sure others had their own ideas on how the state of Iowa can prosper through difficult economic times. Different ideas and theories are great to have but the important part is to have a common vision; the vision of a thriving and prosperous Iowa. To me this is very appealing as I look to complete my college career and start my venture in to my professional career to find a place to work and live.
As I continue through this week at Leadership Iowa University, I keep getting introduced to more and more positives of doing business in Iowa. There are great businesses and companies in this state that make it competitive. In combination with great leaders, it makes a soon-to-be college graduate feel confident as I look to stay in Iowa.
Posted on Aug 10, 2011
at 10:45 AM
My greatest asset I can bring to be part of Iowa’s future is my willingness to work for a greater cause. I enjoy working on bigger projects that I can see a tangible gains from my time and effort. Either success on the football field, the classroom, or my work in student government I can see the gains from my work. Particularly my projects I work on in student government that have a wider effect than just myself. Like the rest of the country, Iowa faces many obstacles in the future. Public officials and communities at large face harsher budget cuts, while still trying to provide top quality education and superior working environments that Iowa has been known for. My ability to work hard and lead may help Iowa’s future as we as a state take on these difficult objects. I have enjoyed growing up in Iowa and want to see this great state prosper and be apart of it.