Purdue University North Central alumna Tiffany Bley earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication degree in 2009. Since the day she graduated, she’s worked hard to build a successful career.
Today she is the downtown director for the city of LaPorte and is responsible for the promotion and revitalization of downtown LaPorte. She serves as the main contact for the downtown businesses and property owners for needs such as grant acquisition, promotion and event coordination.
This is part of a partnership between the LaPorte Chamber of Commerce, the city of LaPorte, the Urban Enterprise Zone, the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation, LaPorte Economic Advancement Foundation and the LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
At the same time, she’s taken on the responsibility of executive director of Michigan City Mainstreet Association as an independent contractor. In that capacity, she’s busy with fund raising, working with various committees and promoting the Uptown Arts District.
Back when Bley, a Chesterton native, was still a PNC student, she began laying the foundation for her career. She carefully selected classes that she knew would expose her to the essentials she needed for her career and sought internships and opportunities for hands-on experience. She was selected as an intern for the Indiana State Senate and served an internship with the Northwest Indiana Forum.
She believes that her internships and her Purdue North Central education with prepare her well for her career.
“I feel my PNC courses in the Communication Department did help me,” she said. “I thank my professor Carrie Higgins for introducing me to the “PR Guide” which I use almost every day.”
As a PNC student she aided in the development of a 30-minute presentation for a group of Michigan City first graders to explain the concept of Patience as part of her Advanced Presentational Speaking class.
She was part of a group project in an Introduction to Public Relations class that worked on a project that benefited the Christian Community Action group, which aids Porter County residents in ending homelessness.
She was involved in French Club too.
Her current jobs give her ample opportunity to purse her passions, “I also enjoy working with our area's professionals - we have the best around - and I like helping to create and build programs I feel are such a crucial part of an organization.”
Her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for her profession have been key to helping her accomplish so much in the few years since her commencement.
“I've managed my career by being true to myself and understanding where I want to be,” she said. “My biggest thing in working in the communication field is writing and communicating a message that you love. I love the economic development field and what it hopes to accomplish, so I really enjoy working with these professionals.”
In the meantime away from the office, she donates her time in the community and is a long-time volunteer with Rebuilding Together Duneland.
Someday, she may return to school to pursue her master’s degree. And she may also get involved with an active advocacy nonprofit like PETA.
When asked, she is willing to share her advice and insights with current students and others who are beginning to plan their career path.
Without hesitation she advises, “Internships, paid or not, are the most valuable thing you can do in, before and after school.”
“Be patient,” she adds. “If it's meant to be and you know your abilities, it will come. Also, network and stay connected to those who inspire you.”
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