Wednesday, October 4, 2023

By enrolling in classes at the University of Iowa, Robbie Weiland (BA ’23) was given many opportunities to become a leader. Because of faculty at the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC), Weiland learned how to not only lead, but lead teams to success.

Weiland earned a degree in enterprise leadership with a sustainability certificate in the spring. He has been named Entrepreneurial Leadership Student of the Year and will be recognized Oct. 20 at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Honors event.

“Growing up and still today, I sometimes doubt myself in my capabilities,” Weiland said. “To know my work is being recognized and what I do is making an impact on others is a big reason why I like entrepreneurship and leadership.”

After college Weiland, a native of Northbrook, Illinois, retuned close to home and is in the management training program for Enterprise Holdings. In September, he was promoted to the operations site at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

“I focused a lot of my time at Iowa toward perfecting my leadership skills and how to be more of an effective leader,” Weiland said. “I owe a big thanks to JPEC and a lot of the JPEC instructors who taught me how to be a good leader and how to lead a team to success.”

After serving as treasurer for the entrepreneurial honor society Sigma Nu Tau, Weiland was elected president during his senior year. He also served as vice-president and president of Iowa Hillel, a Jewish student organization.

Weiland observed a common theme in many of the classes offered through Iowa JPEC: group projects that required a director.

“I’m someone who has a drive to win and do really well,” Weiland said. “I have that entrepreneurial spirit where I do not give up and do what it takes for my team to win.”

That drive came in handy, Weiland said, when his team was competing against other companies in classroom simulations and needed to discover creative ways to emerge as a market leader.

During his time as an undergraduate, Weiland also learned the merit of following his passion. His passions include cars and the automotive industry, which is partly why he is employed at Enterprise after completing an internship there prior to his senior year of college.

“It doesn’t feel like I’m doing a 9-to-5 job when you are surrounded with a topic you are excited about,” Weiland said. “I get to drive a lot of fun cars which is a dream of mine.”

One of Weiland’s regrets during college was not participating in the many undergraduate competitions offered by Iowa JPEC. But one of his biggest rewards was attending the Roth Conference last March in Dana Point, California.

“It was an unbelievable experience to be surrounded by investors, and startup companies, and small-cap firms,” Weiland said. “The many connections and networking opportunities I had was astounding and I am grateful to be part of an experience like that.”

2023 Robbie Weiland
2022 Kristoff Poole
2021 Margorie Gutierrez