PNC Students Learn from Their Community Leaders

By: Mona Sehgal Last Updated: January 31, 2015

Northwest Indiana is known for its’ phenomenal mentors in the community. Several influential leaders are also members of nonprofit organizations and community projects. Purdue University North Central MBA students had the chance to interact with a few leaders at Lunch with a Leader on the afternoon of Saturday, January 31 at PNC Porter County.

Students pursuing their MBA at Purdue University North Central had the opportunity to attend this panel discussion. The panelists came from many different backgrounds. They included Jonathan Hildebrand from Centier Bank and Valpo Rotary, Bert Cook from Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, Heather Ennis from Northwest Indiana Forum, and lastly Barb Young from Porter County Community Foundation.

The panelists answered a wide range of questions, including questions pertaining to community involvement and what being a leader truly means. This event was based on student-leader interaction; the panelists were more than happy to take questions from the audience.

Cook said, “It is frustrating when people complain about what’s wrong with our community but don’t do anything about it. As a member of society, it is my civic duty to do my part to better the community.”

All of the leaders stressed the importance of giving back to the community. They shared personal experiences and emphasized the ability to make connections from volunteering and other community activities.

Young stated, “Find an organization you care about and are interested in. If you do something just to put it on your resume, it won’t be a meaningful experience.”

The MBA leadership team answered questions like, “Why are you involved in the community?” and “What suggestions can you give to a MBA graduate on how to get involved?” It gave the students the opportunity to know their leaders on a more personal level, and it was evident that the students were interested in what they panelists had to say.

Katie Eaton, student at PNC, said, “Usually, only one person comes and speaks to the group, so this year it is exciting that we have four speakers. It’s neat to see how leaders from different counties and communities are making a difference. We are able to formulate a lot of creative ideas with their guidance.”

For more information about Purdue University North Central's MBA program, contact the program office at (219) 785-5557 or e-mail