Ashley Bagadiong's Inspiring Take on Grit and Developing Her Leadership Skills

Ashley Bagadiong photo

Ashley Bagadiong, a senior in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, has big aspirations for her future career. The first goals she has set for herself are to work in the consumer-packaged goods industry and run for office someday.   

Ashley says she has developed a passion for politics during her time at Purdue. Early in her academic career, she enrolled in the Leadership and Development Initiative's (LPDI) Citizens Academy Course ILS 495. Citizen's Academy is a unique course in that it connected students with local community members who have a passion for being civic agents. As part of the course, Ashley met with local leaders and engaged in impacting societal issues. After this inspirational experience, Ashley realized that this was how she wanted to impact her community. 

When asked if she could define "grit" in her own words, Ashley reflected on the influence of her parents. She explained that her parents persevered by immigrating from the Philippines to the United States. Ashley shared that her parents had to adjust to a new life in a new country while raising Ashley and her sister. Grit, Ashley says, is defined by what her parents did for her. 

"They made sacrifices for a greater life for their children," Ashley says.  

Ashley shared that she failed a course her sophomore year and thought it was the "end of the world." After receiving that grade, Ashley thought she was not smart enough or good enough to pursue her major. Then, it dawned on her that it was ok to fail. Ashley believes grit is essential to keep going even when things are tough.

"Sometimes you fail, and it's OK," she says. "Having the courage to keep trying or stopping when you know you've reached your limits is how you develop grit.” 

Ashley concluded by providing some sage advice on the Steps to Leaps Pillars at Purdue with her final words.  

"The program shows there is no one way to be a leader, and there is no one way to approach all of these pillars,” she says. “Some people have strengths in some areas and need to work on other parts to develop their leadership. The point is, there is always a way to grow, and anyone can be successful."

If you want to add Ashley to your network, connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.