2017 MBAs To Watch: Justine Weatherman, Purdue (Krannert)

Justine Weatherman

Purdue University, Krannert School of Management

“I am an enthusiastic business student who values integrity and strives to live with purpose.”


“I am an enthusiastic, visually-impaired student who has big visions of a purposeful future.”

Age: 23

Hometown: Clayton, Indiana

Fun fact about yourself:

  • I got a college scholarship by performing a rap.
  • I was suspended from high school my senior year over a harmless school prank, and the entire school protested until the suspension was lifted.
  • I am a (Indianapolis) 500 Festival Princess.
  • I was an Air Force brat who lived in seven different states while growing up.
  • I managed to be a tour guide despite the fact that I am legally blind.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Purdue University, B.S. in Economics and Management

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Boeing Defense, Space, and Security- Cost Reduction Specialist (Intern)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Boeing Commercial Aircraft- North Charleston, South Carolina

Where will you be working after graduation? Northrop Grumman (Aerospace Systems)- Subcontracts Administrator

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Krannert Grdauate Student Association Treasurer
  • Student Ambassador for the Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD) Annual Conference and Student Summit.
  • Disability Resource Center Mentor
  • Purdue Community Standards Board Panel Member
  • 2017 500 Festival Princess Ambassador
  • Graduate Assistant for Purdue’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of winning an internal case competition held at my school. This was pretty early on in my MBA experience, but it meant a lot to me. This was a time where I still wasn’t quite sure I had what it took to be an MBA student. Thanks to the guidance of some second year students, this competition was a success and allowed me to prove to myself that anything was possible with enough effort.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In my professional career, I am most proud of the progress I was able to make with safety initiatives through a ladder elimination project. Cutting costs and making money is great, but safety always comes first. I was proud to engage in an initiative that had a clear impact.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Clifford Fisher. He was our business law professor, who went above-and-beyond to make the class interesting for everyone. He also truly cared about student success and was willing to work one-on-one with me to get my first published paper.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite business course was Sustainable and Socially Responsible Operations. It was my favorite because it took a different approach to business than most other classes and highlighted some vital issues business leaders need to keep in mind. We had discussion that added to my overall business knowledge, while also forcing me to think about what type of future business leader I would like to be.

Why did you choose this business school? Krannert advertises itself as having a “Krannert family,” and I 100% believe that is true. The program is relatively small, which allows students to get to know everyone and participate in a tight-knit educational experience. This was something that I could see before entering the program, and is something I have been fortunate enough to experience as an MBA student.  I know everybody I see in the hallways.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I most enjoyed hearing from the diverse group of classmates I have had the pleasure to work with. Because everyone comes into the program from different places and with different backgrounds, everyone had different experiences and opinions.  Though I learned a lot from professors in the classrooms, I learned almost as much from getting to know the diverse student population.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? I was most surprised about the intensity of business school. The workload and structure were extremely different from what I experienced during my undergraduate studies. I did not feel like I went to class and then went home.  It felt more like I lived the MBA-life at all times. The program seeped into all aspects of my life. My shopping experience was even changed; I started to pay extra attention to products I had read about in cases, and would find myself contemplating the supply chain of a product I added to my cart.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? My best piece of advice would be to make sure you know how to think and express your ideas.  There is a lot of discussion and participation is key to success.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about my school is that it is full of engineers, since Purdue as a whole is known for engineering and innovation. Though we did have quite a few engineers join the MBA program after working in industry, there were certainly people from other backgrounds as well.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I regret never traveling for a case competition. I believe they are extremely valuable and it would have been an amazing experience.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire Philip Lemparle. He was one of the first people I met in the program and has been a steady friend ever since. I admire him because over the past two-years, he consistently steps to take care of things when nobody else will. I also admire him for his faith. Though it is different from mine, it is something he lives by every day and I have a lot of respect for him because of that.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…my manager at work talked about his experience as an MBA student.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working in the same town I grew up in.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would like to make it less competitive and make sure students kept things in perspective. It is great to be surrounded by high-achieving individuals, but sometimes people need to take a deep breath and think about what is truly important.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I would like to eventually attend law school and use my business and legal knowledge to work as general counsel of a major aerospace/defense corporation.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would most like to thank my mother. For my entire life, she has encouraged me to be the best version of myself. She is also an inspiration due to her involvement with the local community, and I have learned from her that success can be defined in more than one way. I therefore strive to be successful in not only in my professional career, but also in terms of how I am improving my surroundings for others.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like my peers to remember me as a positive person who was able to make their MBA experience a little more positive than it would have otherwise been.

Favorite book: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Favorite movie or television show: Monty-Python and the Holy Grail

Favorite musical performer: Taylor Swift

Favorite vacation spot: Disneyworld

Hobbies? I love traveling, running, and listening to stand=up comedy/watching improvisational comedy.

What made Justine such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Justine is Krannert’s nominee based on her leadership, perverseness, academic performance and student involvement. Despite being visually impaired, Justine held various leadership roles.  She serves as a mentor for the Disability Resource Center. Amongst other activities, she participated in case competitions that made her grow in many aspects as a student. With her graduation date approaching in May, Justine has been a fantastic student and an asset to the Krannert community.

Justine has maintained a solid academic performance throughout the duration of her two year program and is in the top 10% of her cohort. She was selected to be a Graduate Assistant for Purdue’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, where she helped veterans during their residency at Purdue. Justine was also the Krannert Graduate Student Association’s (KGSA) treasurer. She was proactive in communicating all finance matters to central staff as well as keeping us updated about activities related to KGSA. Justine interned at Boeing Commercial Aircraft in South Carolina.

In addition to her graduate assistantship, Justine has been actively involved in community work by being a board member at Purdue Community Standards Board Member. She also served as the 2017 Indy 500 Festival administrator. Her visual impairment did not stop her from reaching out and being a tour guide. This demonstrates that Justine goes above and beyond to challenge herself.

Justine will be working for Northrop Grumman after graduating. She is enthusiastic person who values integrity and has great visions. These are all qualities of an exemplary MBA student.”

Greg Beaver

Director MBA & MS Programs

Purdue University



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