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The Face of Leadership: Continuous Learning and Cross-Functional Opportunities

Ashley RobinsonLeadership comes in many forms. Perhaps it can be found on a corporate level in the context of creating a vision and encouraging others to follow. It may be reflected in times of crisis when an individual steps up to give instructions, relieving stress and pending mass hysteria. In its simplest form, leadership can be standing up for what is right when no one is watching.

When it comes to Purdue University Krannert School of Management MBA & MS Programs, we full-heartedly believe that each and every one of our students possess both outstanding leadership capabilities and qualities as confirmed by the Admissions Committee. Despite applying these skills toward various presentations, projects and competitions, perhaps the ultimate and most rewarding opportunity for our students to lead lies within the Krannert Graduate Student Association (KGSA).

In the case of Krannert Masters student Ashley Robinson, leadership isn’t just something applied solely in the classroom.  

Serving as Assistant Director of Administration for KGSA, Krannert MS Human Resource Management (MSHRM) student Ashley Robinson currently oversees various student organizational development operations and activities. Robinson’s typical duties include but are not limited to: managing Krannert Master’s student organizations, organizing student fairs and events such as Krannert Launch and Krannert Ignite Weekend, and coordinating student organization meetings and associated award ceremonies. 

Additionally, as VP of Professional Development, Robinson also manages various Purdue University Krannert School of Management alumni relations, networking opportunities, communication between students and the Krannert Professional Development Center (KPDC), coordination of City Treks and Site visits, career preparation activities, and case competitions.

“Being a member of student government is highly rewarding knowing that you will represent such a talented, dedicated, and brilliant group of individuals.” – Ashley Robinson

Robinson’s leadership roles compliment her current studies, as she is able to work, on a daily basis, in cross-functional areas gaining a more holistic view of business operations. She also explains that being a part of KGSA gives her the ability to connect with more of her classmates from other programs.

 “I personally love meeting people from all over the world and with unique backgrounds. Through this experience I have gained a greater appreciation for heterogeneity, meaning various differences,” she says. “I believe that you can learn something from each person that you meet.”

 In terms of thought leadership, Robinson is specifically interested in how the role of HR is evolving due to various technology trends and upper management expectations.

 “I believe that Human Resources as a function (i.e. recruitment, benefits, compensation) is becoming more of a Strategic Business Partner in organizations. The changing nature of technology allows for creative solutions to improve existing processes. As Human Resource professionals align business objectives with employment demands, the business can remain sustainable and profitable. Functional Human Resource Management is essential, and I believe that the job outlook will continue to grow,” Robinson says.

 So, the real question is: how does she manage it all?

Responsible both inside and outside the classroom, Robinson emphasizes the importance of a healthy balance of personal and professional life. While enjoying numerous campus activities and events, she also enjoys her time at home reading and watching documentaries on Netflix. She also makes time to enjoy the little things, like the beautiful views on campus.

 “Purdue has such a stunning campus, and I never get tired of the views,” she says.

 With the goal of securing a full-time offer at a Top 10 Fortune 500 company post-graduation, Robinson’s ideal role consists of an executive position in HR. Additionally, as the true superwoman she is, Robinson’s dreams do not end there. In fact, she hopes to one day start her own business as well, which could very well be the case (sooner than later), as the Purdue Foundry has helped to create a record-breaking number of startups based on Purdue intellectual property over the past few years.

 In terms of the current job search, Robinson is looking for a company that is leading the way in global innovation where she can apply her Krannert MSHRM experience in a way that promotes a sustainable future.

 “As a business professional, I would like to know that I will be making a difference,” Robinson says.

With that said it is quite clear that Robinson is already making quite a difference within Purdue University Krannert School of Management via KGSA leadership, and we know she has great things ahead of her.

 Watch out, corporate world- the train is coming, and Ashley’s on-board. Full steam ahead!

Rachel Cooper Rachel Cooper
 Contributing Writer