Ryan Daniels Shares How to ‘Level-Up’ Your Impact

Ryan Daniels photo

Ryan Daniels, a junior studying film & video production, is all about taking that perfect shot. When she graduates from Purdue, she hopes to obtain a position in the sports production industry someday. When not in the classroom, Ryan is the vice president of operations for the Purdue Student Union Board (PSUB), a dean’s ambassador, the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) chair for the College of Liberal Arts, the treasurer for Purdue Student Productions, and participates in two choirs – Heart & Soul with Purdue Musical Organizations and the Black Voices of Inspiration with the Black Cultural Center.

When starting at Purdue, Ryan had a few challenges to overcome. She did not have the summer she had hoped for and when she arrived at Purdue, she did not get along with her roommate. To top it off, there was trouble going on back at home as well. Ryan had previously volunteered in high school and found that she wanted to donate her time in college. It was something that she felt close to and good about. It was then that Ryan found her outlet in PSUB, which inspired her to make an impact and give back to students.

PSUB was a perfect fit for Ryan. It helped her feel positive to balance out the negatives in her life. In PSUB, Ryan found the values she stood for in an organization. The positive work that PSUB does helped her to get through the pandemic and realize the kind of impact she wanted to make in her community. It was not long before Ryan joined the leadership at PSUB because she wanted to make an impact on the organization. PSUB is a source of campus entertainment that puts together budget-friendly activities for students so that all students can have the opportunity to de-stress and have fun outside of the classroom.  

Ryan’s impact as a DEI chair is her greatest passion. Her goal in this area is to help students know that their voice is being heard. This, she feels, enables students to know they too can make a difference as a student at Purdue and in the community.

Ryan acknowledges that she is still working on developing her leadership skills today. She mentioned that she has come to realize that she can be very shy and, to counteract that, she pushes herself to be a leader and take further steps. Ryan’s minor is in organizational development, which is helping her to come out of her shell and be a leader. Her classes have also taught her how to work with others on conflict management and networking, and she is learning how to strike up conversations with others. She has been putting all of these skills to the test by contacting producers in Los Angeles and the National Football League to grow her network and form relationships.

“Networking is scary, but it has helped me to be more comfortable in building relationships and become more extroverted,” Ryan says. “It has tipped the scale!”

When asked what advice she has for incoming students at Purdue, Ryan warns others not to do too much when they are starting. She also suggests being open-minded and taking opportunities to do the things that “scare” them. She says that students will not grow if they don’t step outside of their comfort zone. 

“The best thing I did was use the advice given to me, which was to step out of my comfort zone,” Ryan says. “It made such an impact on who I am, my character and what jobs I can now see myself in. Students should be open to doing anything they set their minds to. No challenges are too big. If your dreams are not scary, then they are not big enough. Dream bigger!” 

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