Tiffany Pai is Taking Leaps to Social Change

Tiffany Pai photo
Tiffany Pai, who is pursuing an economics degree through the three-year program in the College of Liberal Arts, is all about helping others. From the moment that Tiffany stepped on campus, she knew she wanted to create an impact. She discovered a path to impact quickly when, as a first-year student, she discovered Purdue’s Civic Engagement and Leadership Development (CELD) department. At the time, CELD had just launched the Leadership Experience at Purdue (LEAP) program and Tiffany was selected to be part of the first cohort to participate. Tiffany, who describes herself as an “introverted person,” says the LEAP program helped her become who she is today, stating that she is grateful for their guidance in helping build her up as a strong leader in her community.

Tiffany’s next steps will take her to the University of Michigan to start graduate school. After graduation, she hopes to join the marketing firm, Participant Productions, which provides marketing for films that address social issues. Tiffany hopes to one day create her own marketing firm to help low-budget films with a big message.

“The social issues that they address are so crucial,” Tiffany says.

Outside of the classroom, Tiffany serves as the student director of this year’s Emily Mauzy Vogel (EMV) Sophomore Leadership Retreat. The retreat, a two-day program focused on team building and leadership development, will introduce participants to strengths-based approaches to inclusive leadership. As a co-director of this program, Tiffany hopes to help further develop participants’ skills and build a network.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented Tiffany with a new challenge when she opted to take her entire sophomore year of classes online. As someone with previous on-campus experience, she found a stark contrast between learning on-campus and online learning. Knowing many students who were struggling, Tiffany took it upon herself to help re-establish a sense of community by participating in the CLA Student Ambassador Program. This program offered numerous virtual activities and a social media platform to share various resources. Tiffany says that seeing the bonds students built in this program, despite physically being miles apart, touched her heart.

Tiffany believes the key to creating an impact is to live a purposeful life. When she was younger, she says she was terrified of making mistakes. Luckily, she had a mentor who helped her understand that the most significant risks can reap the greatest rewards. Being unafraid of failure, Tiffany says, can help you find your purpose in life and make the greatest impact you can on society. On your journey, Tiffany thinks you will also find the tools of commitment, passion and determination that will result in leaving your unique footprint along the path you have chosen.

“Being true and passionate never goes out of style,” Tiffany says. “Don’t suppress it. That is what makes you, you.”

She says this passion, or grit, can also be seen as perseverance.

“It’s what wakes you up and keeps you going,” Tiffany says. “It’s overcoming obstacles and working towards a goal regardless of the difficulties ahead.

“My mentor always reminds me to step back and look at the big picture when life seems overwhelming,” Tiffany continues. “She always told me that you are overwhelmed because you are in the middle of chaos. It is when you step back that you are better able to prioritize and organize.”

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