Cameron Mann takes advantage of opportunities, which has helped her help herself and help others. And she says it’s served her well in her many roles, from Indiana FFA state president to a business intern to 2016 Purdue Homecoming Queen to the Purdue University trustees boardroom.
Mann’s term as a full-fledged Purdue trustee continues through June 30. She recently granted an exclusive interview with Indiana Prairie Farmer. The first part of the interview ran on this website on Dec. 16. Here is the second part of that interview.
IPF: What past experiences qualified you to be a Purdue trustee?
Mann: I believe firmly that my experiences in FFA helped separate me from the other candidates when going through the search process for the student trustee position. FFA allowed me to be a confident young leader that has had experience with networking and professional atmospheres that most students my age haven’t had. I also think my internship experience at Farm Credit Mid-America gave me a competitive edge because I’ve been exposed to financial decisions, and had a good working knowledge of financial operations, which is an important part [of the duties] of the Purdue board of trustees.
IPF: Exactly how did you become a Purdue student trustee?
Mann: I chose to participate in the search process after learning of the position and deciding that I wanted to apply. The first step was an application consisting of six essays that spoke to the candidate’s qualifications and knowledge of Purdue. The application also included a resume and three letters of support.
The search committee was composed of Purdue students representing the entire Purdue system, faculty and a representative from the governor’s office. The committee narrowed the candidate pool for interviews. Then I interviewed for the positon in front of the search committee. The search committee selected the top 10 candidates, and the top 10 candidates were forwarded to the governor’s office for further review. The final decision was my appointment by Gov. Mike Pence.
IPF: How have past experiences helped you in your role as a trustee?
Mann: My past experiences in FFA and internships have helped me as a trustee greatly. These experiences taught me how to be a thoughtful, well-spoken leader that is poised when interacting with business leaders, key decision-makers and others.
IPF: How will this experience as a Purdue trustee help you in the future?
Mann: This experience will undoubtedly help me in my future career. I believe that this experience has taught me to understand what kinds of conversations and decisions are being made at a high level and how those decisions affect an entire organization. This is an important lesson that I will be able to keep in mind and leverage as I follow my career path.
IPF: What are your plans for the future in terms of a career or public involvement?
Mann: I’m currently pursuing a double major in ag communication and agribusiness, with a concentration in marketing. I will graduate in May 2017. Upon graduation, I hope to either work in academia or for a nonprofit organization, focusing on development, stewardship or member relations.