Andrew Eichenmeier on Using Purdue’s Opportunities Today to Be a Better Leader Tomorrow

Andrew Eichmeier photo

Andrew Eichenmeier, a senior studying political science, has just a little time left to decide what his next steps will be after graduation. He enjoyed working for a government defense contracting agency last summer, just finished applying for a fellowship in Indianapolis and is waiting for his LSAT results. Andrew certainly understands and values the education and opportunities that he has been given at Purdue to help prepare him for his next giant leap – whatever that may be.

Outside of the curriculum, Andrew reflected fondly on his work with Purdue’s Old Masters community over the past several years. Old Masters is an organization where students host successful alums and guide them through a Purdue experience, reacquainting them with campus and giving alums the opportunity to pass down wisdom learned through years of career experience. Since his sophomore year, Andrew has served this group as a host, a member of the Central Committee and, most recently, as a publicity co-chair who helps to advertise for the program. In addition to his work with Old Masters, Andrew was the president of Pi Kappa Phi in 2022 and is currently serving as the chief justice on the board of directors for the Interfraternity Council on campus.

Andrew feels his impact has been built by recognizing the many opportunities Purdue provides for students.

Join a fun club or a Greek organization,” Andrew says. “It’s not overly difficult to get involved, you just need to put one foot forward. This really does matter and is a good system to follow. Not only will you make an impact, but you will also open up your network for the future. I took the opportunities that were given to me and, when I look back at some of the organizations that I was a part of, it is super cool and rewarding to see the students I led now taking on those same leadership roles. This is just a microcosm of the impact I have made and a glimpse into what I can do in the future.

Andrew echoes that organizations at Purdue provide students with real-life simulations where they can hone and develop skills to prepare for the world beyond graduation. He says it is equally important to connect with those around you. Andrew’s main piece of advice is to capitalize on all the experiences provided at Purdue as they will help individuals develop leadership skills.

Andrew learned the most about leadership from being the president of his fraternity. He was completely immersed in his job leading 150 men who arrived on campus from all around the world. He loved getting to know his fraternity brothers – there were so many personalities! For many of his new brothers, attending Purdue was their first time living away from their parents and this experience brings unanticipated challenges. As a result, Andrew found this leadership role helped him to develop his people skills and understand that not everyone responds the same way to the same advice. Part of this lesson was learning how to teach others the importance of being accountable for their actions. This lesson taught Andrew how to better communicate to not only get his ideas across but also take suggestions and work together as a team to solve problems.

To address his well-being, Andrew emphasizes that it is important to know when to take a break and focus on yourself. He says that well-being is not only learning how to manage your time well but also understanding when it is time to rely on the help of others. When working collaboratively, Andrew says to build a team within your network so that you can take a break and delegate to others when you need to. Your team can then fill in for you while you are away (and vice versa). It is vital to take the time to rest so that you can avoid burnout and recuperate. It is vital to take the time to rest so that you can avoid burnout and recuperate.

Andrew did not come up with all this sage advice on his own – he says that he had several mentors who have been generous with their time in helping guide him while he has been here at Purdue. He recognizes Brandon Cutler, the director of Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life and associate dean, for always being a great resource to the chapter presidents. Brandon helped Andrew to learn the gift of how to support others with their struggles. Andrew recalled how Brandon shared a book about his football coach back in Iowa and how it is important to “get the ship in safely, even if it’s not always perfect”. Andrew stresses that it is vital to make positive change and leave things better for the next person who comes along.

A great mentor is to be cherished, that is for sure! We are so grateful Andrew shared his experiences with us while he’s been at Purdue. If you want to add Andrew to your network, connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.