When you talk to Caitlin McPherson, it doesn’t take much to see that her love of Purdue runs deep. I sat down with Caitlin to learn more about that passion and how she has been helping to strengthen the Krannert community.
Second-year MBA candidate Caitlin McPherson was elected by her classmates spring 2014 to serve as the Krannert Graduate Student Association (KGSA) President for the 2014-15 academic year. KGSA is the governing body of the Krannert Master's student clubs and is responsible for representing the interests of the entire student body.
When asked why she decided to run, Caitlin pointed to a fantastic experience when she served as one of the three KGSA first-year representatives. “I loved my experience. I found KGSA to be a really good avenue to make an impact on Krannert.” A number of her peers also asked her to run because they saw her as a great fit for the position. That was the last push that motivated Caitlin, and that attempt turned into a winning campaign as Caitlin was named the first female President of KGSA in the spring of 2014.
Caitlin was a great candidate for the position seeing as she is quite familiar with the Purdue campus. She is what we like to call “a double boiler.” A double boiler is a student who attends Purdue for both their undergraduate and graduate studies. “I’ve been at Purdue since the fall of 2007,” said Caitlin. “I did my undergrad here, and then I worked for a startup in the Purdue Research Park. That startup was acquired so then I moved to Purdue Athletics and I worked for the John Purdue Club for a year.” Caitlin then decided to join Krannert’s MBA Class of 2015.
This knowledge of both Krannert and Purdue has been instrumental. “I already had that level of comfort, awareness, and knowledge of Krannert, so I thought that if I was to become KGSA president I would be able to not only do a good job with the Krannert MBA and Master's programs but help connect the two schools together and introduce people to the broader side of Krannert in a way that maybe other people couldn’t.” This greater sense of community was something that Caitlin wanted to integrate, not only by connecting undergraduate and graduate students, but also by connecting all of Krannert’s Master's programs. “Sometimes there can be a disconnect so I really worked hard to bring together the different boards and just keep everyone involved and on the same page.”
Caitlin attributes much of her success to others around her. One of the biggest takeaways from her reign as President is how essential it is to surround yourself with a great team. ” The staff and the faculty are amazing here, but most of all my board of Vice President's. I could not thank them enough for all the work that they have done because they were just as ambitious as I was coming into their roles and I know we couldn’t have gotten done half of the things we did without their support and ideas.”
When looking to the future of Krannert and KGSA, Caitlin is excited to see where the incoming board will go. “I am 110% confident that Adam Ruri is an excellent candidate for the next KGSA President. He has a lot of things that are required for the position. He’s got the passion, he is extremely relatable, and he is efficient and those are important for KGSA because we impact so many different areas of Krannert.” She also noted the passion and energy that the new VPs will bring to KGSA. One of Caitlin’s biggest hopes is that the KGSA board members continue to set a good example for the rest of Krannert’s students, and that this will carry on from year to year.
After graduation, Caitlin will be pursuing a career in Marketing and Consulting. When asked what the future hold, she said “More than anything, I’m really looking forward to being a supportive alum…I’d love to be a mentor and help with the Krannert School Alumni Association. When people in the future think about who they can get back to speak to students, I want my name to be on the list.”
Dana Relation, first-year MBA