Nash treasures the Purdue Bond
Written by TechPurdue // May 11, 2012 // Admitted Students, Alumni, Alumni & Friends, Business & Industry, Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Innovation Magazine, People Profiles, Pro Files, Technology Leadership and Innovation // No comments
Originally published in the Spring 2012 edition of Innovation magazine.
Whether it’s as HR manager at Toyota Financial Services or president of the Purdue Black Alumni Organization (PBAO), Candice Nash has found that her Purdue classes and experiences prepared her for a wide variety of challenges.
Nash, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organizational leadership and supervision, was recently elected for her second term as PBAO president. She sees her role as connecting current students and alumni, as well as being a voice for all underrepresented Purdue constituents.
“A strategic initiative of PBAO is to bridge the gap between students and alumni. We host a student rap session once a semester,” Nash said. “We get students involved, they understand who we are and they hear from the leaders.”
While she motivates current students, she must also work to make sure PBAO provides a good experience to its volunteers. Nash tries to identify their passions and then place them on committees that fit with them. Her passion is giving back.
“My mother instilled a pretty strong value of reaching back and giving back. It’s so important to remember that you have a voice and that you are always giving back in some capacity,” she said. “My time at Purdue was a good time in my life. I wanted to give back and impact students the way that I was impacted.”
Impact for Nash came in the form of supportive professors, beneficial extracurricular activities and relevant curriculum. She learned several lessons about leadership as a resident assistant and on the student government appeals board. These were supplemented by class assignments and discussions.
“Those were kind of the building blocks to what I do now in my life. The OLS program really helped me interact with people and connect the dots between theory and practical application,” Nash said. “I liked that the professors had industry experience. I learned how to deal with and interact with all types of people from all walks of life. Being an RA put that into practice.”
As a human resource manager for Toyota Financial Services in Chicago, Nash relies on this background to do her job. She provides HR support to 12 offices across the Midwest. She provides consultation and coaching, and she helps them understand company policies and procedures. The company also relies on her office to keep abreast of local, state and federal laws that affect employment issues.
Throughout her life, Nash has found that the plans she makes for herself rarely match the reality of her life. She is thankful to have taken advantage of opportunities she couldn’t have planned for. And that’s what she wishes for today’s college students who are facing stressful decisions about their future.
“Life lessons are the most important,” she said. “We have so much technology that we expect things right now. It’s really important for people to pause, to have a plan and a thought process and not to get set back when things don’t work out the way they think they should.”