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Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

Jake Hilliard credits the connections he made at Northwest and the leadership opportunities available at the University for helping him secure a sales job at Team J Sales & Marketing after he graduates.

Jake Hilliard credits the connections he made at Northwest and the leadership opportunities available at the University for helping him secure a sales job at Team J Sales & Marketing after he graduates. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Dec. 11, 2013

Leadership skills pay off for Northwest graduate

To describe Northwest Missouri State University in one word Jake Hilliard uses family. And being a part of that family propelled him to embrace new opportunities at Northwest.

“I’ve had the opportunity to get involved on campus and the people I’ve met are my second family, and I can say that without a doubt,” said Hilliard, a Batavia, Ill., native graduating from Northwest with a marketing degree.

Hilliard chose Northwest for its family atmosphere. His father attended Northwest and his younger sister will be a Bearcat next fall.

“Everyone is one big family, and your teachers, advisors and organizational leaders all care about you and really want you to succeed,” Hilliard said.

After graduating this month, Hilliard will relocate to Denver to begin his career as a salesman for Team J Sales & Marketing, a family company based in Omaha, Neb. Hilliard is charged with developing the company’s western territory.

Hilliard learned of the job through a connection to his fraternity, Alpha Kappa Lambda. He says he is fortunate to have met people through Greek life and credits Northwest for the opportunities it offers to be involved on campus.

Hilliard was involved with other Northwest organizations that helped him build exceptional leadership skills. He was president of the Interfraternity Council, was an executive board member of Student Activities Council and worked in the Office of Campus Activities as a Greek Life intern.

Some of Hilliard’s favorite memories from Northwest are of Homecoming, he said. He enjoyed the preparation with campus organizations and being able to showcase their hard work to Northwest and the Maryville community.

“I’ve had the opportunity to try different things, be in different classes, clubs and organizations,” Hilliard said. “Northwest helped me realize what I wanted to do.”

But among Hilliard’s proudest accomplishments at Northwest are the opportunities he had to mentor peers.

“It’s not the title of the leadership positions I’ve held, but the transition I was able to make through those positions,” Hilliard said. “People ask for my advice and I can provide another perspective.”

Hilliard says Northwest, including its faculty and staff, helped him succeed.

“Northwest helped me realize what I wanted to do,” he said. “Given all of the opportunities to try and feel out different things, it led me to knowing I want to go out and commit to being a salesman.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468