2016 Best MBAs: Adam Ruri, Purdue

Adam Ruri Purdue

Adam Ruri


Purdue University, Krannert School of Management

Age: 32

“There is a Maori Proverb from New Zealand, where I was born, that says ““He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.” Translated that means, “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.” It might be cliché, but I have really enjoyed the people. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with people from all around the world and in every imaginable business function or industry. We’ve worked together on case competitions, course projects and in organizational leadership positions. I have been thoroughly enriched and will be a better business leader because of the relationships I have formed here at Purdue.”

Hometown: Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Education: Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management, BS Business Management, Global Supply Chain Emphasis, Minor in Communications

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

Company: Rinchem Company, Inc. (Privately held chemical logistics supplier to Intel Corporation)

Role: Global Sales Team Leader (Managed all corporate sales processes and seven sales executives globally)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015?

Company: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Location: Fairfield, OH (Cincinnati)

Where will you be working after graduation?

Company: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Role: Manager, Field Management Development Program

Location: Lake Mary, FL (Orlando)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

President, Krannert Graduate Student Association (2015-2016)

  • Provided leadership support and funding to over 20 Krannert graduate clubs and organizations.
  • Secured a 12 percent organizational budget increase from the Dean’s office for the first time in at least 3 years.
  • Led the Krannert student efforts to host a TEDxPurdueU “Salon” (Breakout) session that hosted 4 TED talks and a panel discussion on Big Data.
  • Directed the efforts to reorganize the structure of the association by decreasing the size of the presidency by 50 percent, improving involvement by increasing the committee leadership or officer positions and formalizing the changes in the organization’s guiding document, the constitution, for the first time in almost 10 years.

Graduate Assistant, Jane Brock-Wilson Women in Management Center

  • Assist the center’s director in managing the 3 program assistants (undergraduate students) and their work responsibilities.
  • Coordinate with staff and faculty across the university to form the operational procedures for “Purdue Women Lifting Communities,” a multi-departmental collaborative project to improve the lives of women and girls in rural Indiana communities.
  • Manage the center’s efforts toward the execution its flagship event, “The Human Library,” an interactive, community building activity that promotes diversity and inclusion across campus and around the world. We are partnering with the Dean of Student’s office for the first time and have set a goal to triple the size of the event in the fall.
  • Develop the guidelines and processes for the center’s next “InnovateHer” regional business plan competition focused on Women Entrepreneurs.
  • Reorganize and present a new organizational structure to the Women in Management center’s director.

Graduate Assistant, Leadership Communication Studio

  • Graded hundreds of individual and team presentations by for undergraduate course instructors.
  • Participated in the marketing and rebranding efforts for the studio’s director.

Recipient, Dean’s Award for Master Student Service to the Krannert School of Management

  • One of three Krannert students and the only Masters student honored with this award by the Dean.

Board of Directors, Krannert Gear (Student-led non-profit organization)

  • Led the development of two new products and managed the committee that marketed these products to the student body.
  • Steered the organizations efforts with Krannert graduate students as the Graduate Outreach director.

First Year Class Representative, Krannert Graduate Student Association

First Year Class Representative, Krannert Graduate Marketing Association

  • One of three MBA students elected to represent all graduate students on the governing committee.
  • Developed and executed three new activities that promoted community building across the student body.

Finalist (Team Leader), Wake Forest Marketing Summit Case Competition

  • Led Purdue’s first finalist team submission to this prestigious Marketing case competition in a number of years.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? On April 1 this year, my wife (a Purdue Graduate Nursing student) and I planned and executed the first joint charity event between the Krannert School of Management and the Purdue School of Nursing to raise $2340 for the Family Health Clinic of Monon (a cash-strapped rural Indiana medical clinic).

After completing her clinical rotation in Monon, my wife asked me what we could do to help this struggling rural clinic receive some additional funding. I suggested we hold and charity event and appropriated the funds from Krannert to do so. We then set out to organize the “Charity Gala!”

Although $2340 is a small drop in the bucket, I was proud to have raised some additional money for the clinic. We are told they will use it to build a storage room to help them safely store medical supplies. I’m also excited about the possibility this partnership with the School of Nursing and the business school could continue into the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a Business Development Manager at Rinchem, I was assigned our third largest customer, Advanced Technology Materials Inc (ATMI). Within one year, I was able to grow revenues by $1 Million (almost 20 percent) through a series of new contracts. By the time I transitioned to lead the Sales team, ATMI became Rinchem’s second largest customer behind Intel Corporation.

I’m proud of this achievement because I had been out of college only three years when I was named the Global Sales Team Leader. I believe my success with ATMI was a major factor in my receiving this promotion.

Favorite MBA Courses? I enjoyed Professor Wilson’s course on Leadership, Professor Benjamin Dunford’s Compensation and Reward Systems course. I also enjoyed Professor Jeffrey Reuer’s Strategic Management course.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Krannert because of the Purdue network. I was impressed with a number of notable Purdue graduates, like former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson and Astronaut Neil Armstrong. I wanted to be connected to a network that produces “world-changing” graduates and was excited about the professional opportunities a Krannert MBA would provide. I was also drawn to Krannert for the diverse student body, with more than 30 percent of students coming from around the world!

What did you enjoy most about business school? There is a Maori Proverb from New Zealand, where I was born, that says ““He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.” Translated that means, “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.”

It might be cliché, but I have really enjoyed the people. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with people from all around the world and in every imaginable business function or industry. We’ve worked together on case competitions, course projects and in organizational leadership positions. I have been thoroughly enriched and will be a better business leader because of the relationships I have formed here at Purdue.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Communication. Early on in my time in the program, I was on a team struggling with course material and a group project we were assigned. I sat with the professor and he worked with me until he knew I understood everything I needed to. I have worked with and met with professors out-of-class ever since and it has dramatically improved my learning. I think sometimes we need to be humble enough to ask for help and communicate. Communicating effectively has also helped me professionally.

What was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part of business school was the first semester. I really wanted to be involved in student government. I wanted to do well in my classes. I was looking for an internship. And, if that wasn’t hard enough, my wife (a Purdue Graduate Nursing Student) and I also decided to flip a house. We purchased a home near campus that needed a lot of work. For almost three weeks during the first semester, our pedestal sink in the bathroom was also our kitchen sink. And our one-year-old child didn’t really appreciate any of this, because he hardly saw his parents. But, we made it through and we recently sold the house for a healthy profit!

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? The best advice I have for an applicant to Krannert’s MBA program is know why you want to come Purdue. Choose Purdue for the right reasons and for reasons that make sense when you look at our connections to the entrepreneurship community, HR community and operations function. There are lots of reasons to come to Purdue, and those reasons were right for me. However, if you want something different, then make sure you know what that is!

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I saw how effective business leaders can change the world! I was enamored with idea that I could make decisions on one side of the world that would dramatically affect people on the other side of the world, perhaps even my family in New Zealand.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…running my own Food Truck in Austin, Texas. Anyone who knows me knows I love food and Austin’s vibrant Food Truck community has inspired a couple of course assignments I’ve worked on at Purdue.”

What are your long-term professional goals? In the long-term, I would like to work my up in Liberty Mutual Insurance, becoming a senior business leader within 5 years, and an executive within 10 years. I would also like to advise a start-up or entrepreneurial venture. Helping a local business owner or someone struggling to launch their dream product appeals to me in many ways, and, after a few more years in corporate America, I love to offer any help I can.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? If he were alive today, I would like to thank my mentor, Jack Stevens. Mr. Stevens, an engineer by trade and serial entrepreneur, plucked me out of relative obscurity to fund my entire undergraduate education and mentor me for over 12 years. He paid my books, tuition and counseled with me at least once a week. He passed away in April of this year and I will miss his optimism and advice.

Fun fact about yourself: In 2011, I sang the National Anthem at Minute Maid Park for a Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals Baseball game.

Favorite book: How Will You Measure Your Life, by Clayton Christensen

Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings (because it was filmed in New Zealand)

Favorite musical performer: My Mum (she sings in a band in New Zealand)

Favorite television show: The West Wing

Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii

Hobbies? Singing/Karaoke, Camping, Traveling

What made Adam such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Adam Ruri is Krannert’ s nominee based on his leadership, community involvement and academic performance. Ruri was elected as the Krannert Graduate School Association (KGSA) President for the 2015-16 school year. As President, he had oversight of 21 clubs at the Krannert School of Management.  among numerous other activities, Ruri re-wrote the constitution for KGSA – an activity that had not been done in the past 10 years. With the new constitution, he created an improved leadership structure which resulted in greater and more focused committee involvement that had a large impact on the student body. As KGSA President, he had oversight of one of the largest budgets in the school’s history. He was elected as class representative for the MBA class of 2016 and also board member for Krannert Gear from April 2015 to present.  This is an example of how diversified Ruri is as a student.

Additionally, he was selected to be a Graduate Assistant for the Woman in Management (WIM) Program. A few of the projects he was involved in for WIM were community outreach and community building projects.  His commitment to diversity and promoting women in management aligns to the mission of the program. Ruri also attended numerous case competitions, of which he was selected to be in the finals at the Wake Forest Marketing Summit and the University of Texas, Austin National Energy Finance Case Competition.

Adam partnered with TEDx Purdue to organize a Krannert Tedx event that brought great visibility to the school, which was highly attended and a huge success for the university. He also partnered with the School of Nursing to host a Charity Gala that generated revenue to improve rural health. This is a clear demonstration of how involved Adam is in the local community.

Adam maintained a solid academic performance during both years in the program. Given the fact he was also a graduate assistant and raising a young family he did an incredible job at balancing work, life and school. He also provided mentorship to first year students and a positive upbeat attitude that was contagious to his classmates.

Upon graduation, he will be working at Liberty Mutual Insurance in the Field Management Development Program, beginning in July 2016. Adam is polite, authentic, courteous and genuinely gives his best effort in every activity he pursues. Both in the classroom and the community Adam takes on tasks with enthusiasm and delivers projects on-time.

We truly believe that Adam Ruri is a great example of an MBA student and he truly made an impact at Krannert.” — Greg Beaver, Director MBA & MS Programs, Purdue University


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