Bachelor’s Degree in Business
Purdue University North Central alumnus Timothy J. Gropp, of La Porte, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business in 2005. Today he is executive director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation.
Each day on the job he puts to work the skills, knowledge and insights he learned at PNC.
“It set the framework for the tools I use daily,” said Gropp. “I do a lot of marketing, business plan reviews, research and financial analysis. My skills need to be broad because each day is a little different. I received a well-rounded degree from PNC. I built off of those initial classes with my continuing education, but it definitely built a core understanding of all areas of business.”
He is quick to thank the faculty members who taught his classes, took an interest in him and helped guide and mentor him.
“I attended a lot of night classes which allowed me to interact not only with my professors, but also with business owners, managers, accountants and other professionals,” he said. “I had a mix of classroom education with real-life lessons which made me more comfortable in a real-world setting.”
Gropp explained that the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation (GLEDC) is in charge of new business attraction, marketing, development and business relations for the greater La Porte area. It assists the Chamber of Commerce in retention and expansion efforts with the existing industrial base.
As the need arises, Gropp taps into his PNC contacts and resources. He and his colleagues attend the many community economic development meetings and workshops sponsored by Purdue North Central and believes that the new PNC Center for Economic Development and Research (CEDAR) will be a great resource for economic development issues in the region.
And he continues to meet other PNC alumni and MBA students in the community, and runs into the many friends he made while attending class. As a member of the PNC Alumni Board, he’s able to interact with alumni from other areas, too.
“I met a lot of good contacts – business and personal – during my time on campus. Networking is very important and this is a good way to meet people, said Gropp. “Don’t let your education and relationships at PNC end once you receive the degree. There are many opportunities to get involved after school through the alumni association.”
After earning his degree from PNC Gropp went on to earn an MBA from Bethel College. Most recently he became one of 1,500 certified economic developers (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council. This professional certification came after completing two extensive testing days and four years of specialized training.
Gropp also is a member of the Regional Development Corporation Board of Directors; La Porte Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Northwest Indiana Economic Development District Board of Directors.
As a student he sat on the Indiana Park and Recreation Association Board of Directors.
Gropp worked full time while attending class during the evenings. He admits he didn’t have a chance to be as involved on campus as he may have liked.
“PNC has a lot to be involved in and it would have been nice to be able to interact with the campus more,” he said.
He advises prospective students to “Get involved, join clubs, take internships and use this opportunity to meet people in the region.”