College of Health and Human Sciences and ENTR Senior Allison Hackman came to Purdue in the fall of 2015 looking for a way to turn her passion for helping others into a career where she can have a meaningful impact on the world. The education and experiences she has gained at Purdue have opened the door for Allison to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make an impact as a social entrepreneur.
In her Business Planning for Social Entrepreneurship course (ENTR 31500), Allison was introduced to how businesses can have a significant impact on their communities. Allison says because of the course, she was introduced to a leader in the field of Corporate Volunteering who later offered her a position at his think tank the RW Institute as a Project Manager. Reflecting on the role of entrepreneurship education, Allison shares, “Because of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and innovation Program I have found my passion and my purpose, and have been given the opportunity to act on it.”
Currently, Allison is working at the Institute on a project called “Blending Capitals for Sustainable Development in Colombia” to life. She says, “This project has been a whirlwind, [I’m] learning the skills of project management and gleaning insights into the world of Corporate Social Responsibility from professionals who are changing the world.”
As one who steps forward and helps wherever it is needed, Allison has spent her spare time at Purdue volunteering and working with nonprofits and socially-minded organizations. Last summer she worked as a Community Impact Intern for The United Way of Greater Lafayette where she coordinated volunteers and attended community meetings. She says that through that experience she learned a lot about what it takes to make a community thrive. Allison also volunteered for IMPACT 2030 as a remote Action Team Facilitator organizing calls, creating agendas, and updating meeting minutes for professionals working to develop the Sustainable Development Goals in the Bay Area. Through that position she was able to go to the annual summit held at the United Nations and lend a helping hand to the organizers of the event.
Last year, Allison was encouraged to attend the Alleviating Poverty through Entrepreneurship (APTE) Summit at Ohio State and was able to attend thanks to the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program and funding provided by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. At the summit, Allison was surrounded by passionate students and leaders in the Social Entrepreneurship sector who are dedicated to changing the world. Allison believes through this experience and her courses she has learned that there is a way for businesses to assist in helping individuals find solutions in their most vulnerable times.
As Allison looks forward to graduation this May she shares, “The Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation has not only shaped my path, but has given me the tools needed to pursue my dream career. I now know how to analyze a business from top to bottom, create consulting reports to implement new strategies, and speak about these things in front of peers and clients. These classes have challenged me to be creative and bold [in my future work].” With highly motivated graduates like Allison entering the workplace, Purdue is playing its role in graduating a new generation of social entrepreneurs who are sure to create a lasting, meaningful impact.