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Congratulations to 2020 Leadership Studies graduate, Julia Hertaus!

Author: Troy Rutter | Image: Troy Rutter

Julia Hertaus will receive a Leadership Studies Certificate and a degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University. Julia also worked as an intern and TA for the Leadership Studies Program for three years. Congratulations, Julia! We will miss you!

What are your career plans after graduation?

I am currently living back at home in Minnesota and seeking employment in both the public and private sectors all over the US. With the changing times, I will also begin studying for exams and applying to graduate schools (crossing my fingers I end up in the Carolinas!).


What other goals do you have for your life after graduation (hobbies, travel, self-improvement, etc.)? 

I am most looking forward to finally having time to read all the books collecting dust on my shelves and treating myself to buying many more! My family also recently moved to a new town, and I am excited to help my mom paint and landscape throughout the summer months as well as finally take out our new kayaks on the lake.


What was your favorite Leadership Studies class? And why?

My favorite leadership class was LD ST 333: Women and Leadership while abroad in Stockholm, Sweden. I have never traveled outside of the US much less without any of my family, so this was a turning point event in my life. It was so interesting to learn about a country that goes about government practice and human right activism so different from the US. I also had the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark and Helsinki, Finland where I attended the World Village Festival. This was a very informative and interesting event for me as a CRP major since the focus of the festive was the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals which is something the US does not have as big of a focus on.


How do you feel Leadership Studies has made an impact on you?

The program was the one thing that finally made me immerse myself into the ISU culture. I got involved with the former LD ST club and eventually worked my way up to taking on the role of president. I credit many of my mentors and connections to the program as well as the job I’ve held for the past two years. The Leadership Studies program has been my one constant throughout my time at ISU and that was super helpful for me as I transitioned from freshman to senior year. I have loved every little part of the program that I was part of whether it be my Sweden experience where my professor’s partner thought I was dating one of the other students and we played along, going door to door talking to faculty about anything and everything instead of sitting in my office doing my assigned work or eating lunch on KP’s office floor, all these little things made my experience all the more memorable.


After your time in the program, what is your definition of leadership?

Leadership is influencing an environment to stimulate change and success.


What activities, clubs, groups were you a member of at ISU?

I was involved in the Leadership Studies Club and took on the roles of Publicity Chair, Vice President, and finally President. I was also involved in the Community and Regional Planning Undergraduate Club where I took on the role of Vice President. Through that club and my major, I sat on the board as the ISU Undergraduate Representative for the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association.


What is your favorite memory from being at ISU? 

My favorite memory from being at ISU is honestly all the events, classes, and parties I attended that allowed me to meet so many people. I met my best friend in my freshman dorm who then introduced me to so many others and met some of my biggest role models through this program.


What would you say to someone considering a Leadership Studies minor or certificate?

I would tell them to at least just take one class! One class was all it took for me to suddenly be involved in the club, studying abroad for the first time, and getting a job. My entire time as ISU was essentially centered around my involvement in the Leadership Studies program and I am so thankful for that. We have amazing faculty that are worth getting to know and build relationships with. Worst case scenario you take a fun and informative class that builds your leadership skills and introduces you to new people which is really no worst-case scenario at all!