Breck Hanson, executive vice president & head of CRE and Chicago market president, Associated Bank, recently spoke to students and the Executive Forum at Purdue Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, in West Lafayette.

The Krannert Executive Forum is a management class that features top-level executives and community leaders sharing their experiences with students. The Forum is designed to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and discussion of topics and issues facing business and management education between students and leaders who have achieved high levels of success and recognition.

In his presentation, Hanson focused on giving advice to business students who are joining the corporate world on how they can become a leader and advance their careers. He spoke to the students and forum about his past experiences; time spent in the Air Force, what his sergeants taught him, attending college to study engineering, and ultimately how all of these aspects helped him to develop an understanding on how to be a leader and make necessary changes in life to enhance the future.

Hanson explained that he never knew where his career would take him until he happened to fall into commercial real estate. His message to the students was to stay focused on finding careers, rather than jobs, to ensure happiness in the future and long-term success.

Hanson gave the students several tips for graduating college, including differentiating themselves, dressing for success, not putting money as the number one priority, making sure to volunteer so employers can see their dedication, and getting out of their comfort zone.

“The best piece of advice he gave me was definitely ‘Hustle, be on time, and don’t complain,’” said one student at Purdue University. She added “These are some of the most important pieces of advice that my best boss has even given me and I try to live them out every day, especially in the work place.”