Merriam Webster defines the word ‘aspire’ as a verb meaning to want to have or achieve something. This word is also one of the six pillars of the Engler Experience. It is the desire of each and every person in our program. This pillar is representative of our culture, how we do things and is a part of my own personal journey.
When I think of the word aspire I think of our founder’s commonly mentioned quote, “you gotta have that fire in your belly.” It is the will and desire to achieve on some level that binds everyone in the program together. The program nurtures, challenges and equips those who aspire. The will to aspire is representative in these statements:
Engler Entrepreneurs know what they aspire to is the purpose or objective behind taking crucial steps in the entrepreneurial journey.
Engler Entrepreneurs are asking the tough questions and having purposeful conversations to solve problems and reach goals.
Engler Entrepreneurs don’t shy away from fostering new perspectives, thinking innovatively or immersing themselves into this transformative experience.
Engler Entrepreneurs know that aspirations are more than dreams, they are commitments toward contributing value to agriculture and communities.
This pillar does not stand on its own though. One must be backed by passion and courage. With a little grit and partnering an entrepreneur can build what they have aspired toward.
In my personal journey the word aspire represents who I am and a commitment I have made. I am very much a goal oriented person and my aspirations and the thought of the future is what excites me each and every day. As a freshman in Dr. Field’s introductory course for the Engler program I had the opportunity to set goals and think about what I aspire to be in life. My completed projects would end up being guiding forces for my time as a student here at UNL. First, I made a personal commitment to be a student first, a leader second. I knew many of the opportunities I would be given would be because I was a student and I wanted to be committed to my education. Next, I created a personal policy to be the best person I could be in both words and actions, knowing that you never know who is watching. Lastly and I think most importantly, I aspired to leave a legacy. I wanted to leave a legacy based on the type of person I was, the passion I had and the actions I had taken.
My time in the Engler program is a large part of how I am leaving a legacy at UNL. This is done with the past in mind of those who have influenced and lead the program for me. It is also focused on the future of the students in the program who will be keeping the American dream alive and well. In the large scheme of life I believe the program has created my legacy-driven mindset and laid the foundation for me to aspire towards what matters to me…helping others.