Meet Ishmael Aristide, organizational leadership and supervision major

Ishmael Aristide, Orlando, Fla.

Major: Organizational Leadership and Supervision, minoring in communications and political science.


Football and track
OLS student advisory board
National Society of Black Engineers
Society of Minority Managers
College of Technology Student Ambassadors
Vice President – Phi Sigma Pi honors society
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Fellowship of Christian Athletes

My major

If you lack in critical thinking skills, if you can’t decipher problems, you won’t do well after college. I call this the business wisdom major. OLS is a major that is shaping tomorrow’s leaders. That’s what we do; that’s our main focus. It’s not about simply getting a job; it’s being prepared to lead, to be CEOs and to be at the top of the business world. It offers a lot of versatility. OLS teaches creative and different ways to lead, motivate and guide people. We take our fair share of Technology courses, too.

A ha!

I’ve been in sports my whole life, and I was a football captain in high school. Leadership was ingrained in me before I got there, and my high school sports experience gave me that. Coming from an inner city, I knew I had to do something different. I didn’t want to be a follower. I know that as a college student, we change a lot, and because we change a lot, I needed something that would allow me the freedom to change career paths. I can leave with an OLS degree and I can go into graduate school in almost anything.

Making a difference

You have to want to be a difference maker. In OLS, you have to have a creative mind. I’ll have my impact on society by corralling people who want to make difference, influencing people to work hard and motivating people. You also have the opportunity to focus on global business. In today’s world, you have to know how to interact with people in the international arena. You can be influential on an international level and be involved in global business.

It’s about the people

If I wasn’t at Purdue, I don’t think I would have the mindset I have. In today’s world, you have a lot people who consider themselves the boss and those who consider themselves decision makers. OLS gets to the root of people. You’ve got to know how to work with everyone, how to deal with change conflict management. We put the people first, and then get the business in order.