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Leadership Iowa University contributes to student success

May 31, 2019 - 2:15pm
UNIBusiness Editor
ABI Leadership Iowa student participants

Leadership Iowa University opened Hanna Kerr’s (Finance ’17) eyes — to Iowa’s world of business, to professionals in other cities and to a variety of leadership skills.

Kerr was entering her junior year when she participated in LIU in the summer of 2015, and it’s an experience she remembers fondly today, especially the opportunity to network and meet new people.

“I think it’s difficult to break into professional networks when you’re in college because you can be in a bubble,” said Kerr, who works at Ernst and Young in St. Louis. “You can build a network at the university, but it’s hard to break into the professional scene.”

Leadership Iowa University is a week-long program held by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) in Des Moines. It assists undergraduate college students along their path to personal and professional success. Participants visit businesses, attend networking events, receive a mentor and much more in order to grow in their desired career path.

It’s one of three leadership programs ABI offers, including Business Horizons for high schoolers and the Leadership Institute for professionals. Kerr participated in the Business Horizons program while in high school, and she had Leadership Iowa University on her radar when she began college.

Every year since 2009, UNIBusiness has helped students with the cost to attend the workshop. In the 2018 school year, Isaac Hoffman (Business Administration and Sales Management ’19) and Caleb Gipple (Economics and Business Administration ’21) were supported by the school at the Leadership Iowa University program. Another University of Northern Iowa student, Reagan Brown, also participated, representing the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences.

Kerr said the school’s funding of her participation of the program made it an easy decision for her.

“There really isn’t a loss to the student, there’s only something to gain,” Kerr said. “And the program really helps develop leadership skills. That’s a transferable skill regardless what you do in your career. It can be applied in every stage of your life.”

For students interested in this program, they can reach out to Katie Hillyer, director of UNIBusiness’ Professional Readiness Program.

“Spending a full week sounds like a big commitment, but it is well worth the experience,” Hillyer said. “Some students are concerned about asking their internship employer for the week off, but in my experience, most employers are supportive of this type of opportunity.”

UNIBusiness thanks the those who donate to the Dean's Fund for Excellence. Funds raised help pay for student organization competitions, global experiences and professional credential education.

Isaac Hoffman, Reagan Brown, Caleb Gipple
Isaac Hoffman, Reagan Brown, Caleb Gipple

Hanna Kerr
Hanna Kerr (Finance '17)


UNI Business

UNIBusiness Editor

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