New Graduate Spotlight: Hayley Ahr

Business Transfer Pathway major transferring to Metro State

Hayley Ahr, 20, graduated in May 2024 from Inver Hills Community College. Hayley earned a Business Transfer Pathway A.S. along with certificates from two programs, Small Business Development and Project Management. She maintained a 3.9 GPA and made the Dean’s List for three semesters, spring 2024 and spring and fall 2023.

A remarkably engaged student leader, Hayley served as Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Omicron Beta chapter vice president of leadership and Student Senate vice president. She also worked as a student ambassador.

Next fall, Hayley will start classes at Metropolitan State University. She will be double-majoring in the university’s Business Administration B.S. and Human Resource Management B.S. programs with plans to graduate in the spring of 2026. She is looking forward to earning a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) after completing her undergraduate degrees.

“I will be seeking an entry-level HR position after college,” Hayley said. “My goal  is to eventually become a recruitment manager.”

PTK Catalyst 2024

Hayley attended PTK Catalyst 2024 with Tanya Smutka, biology faculty and PTK faculty advisor. PTK Catalyst 2024 is Phi Theta Kappa’s premier annual event. This year’s convention took place in early April at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida, near Orlando.

Misty Copeland

“This event brought together PTK members and advisors for a celebration of academic achievement, leadership, and community service,” Hayley said. “Topics ranged from advocacy and study abroad to scholarships and job interview skills, providing attendees with valuable knowledge and skills.

Evy Poumpouras

“These topics were shown through various educational forums, including forums with incredible keynote speakers such as American Ballet Dancer Misty Copeland and former Secret Service Special Agent Evy Poumpouras.

“Beyond the educational sessions, PTK Catalyst provided numerous opportunities for socializing and networking with fellow PTK chapters, including on-site trivia competitions and other fellowship activities.”

PTK advisor perspective: Kimberly Swinney

Kimberly Swinney

“Hayley served as  Phi Theta Kappa vice president of leadership and a student ambassador. She also served as Student Senate vice president for spring semester. She has a natural leadership ability partnered with exceptional organizational and planning skills.

“Hayley did an excellent job organizing our PTK officer’s leadership development by setting multiple goals and deadlines to complete different sections of our Edge Leadership Curriculum throughout the year. This has set our chapter up for great success as we build on the momentum Hayley brought to her role.

“I am thrilled that Hayley was able to go to PTK Catalyst 2024 and represent our chapter and Inver Hills Community College. We haven’t sent anyone to this international conference in more than a decade, and I appreciate Hayley’s desire to help our chapter grow and develop while investing in her own professional development.

“I am so excited for Hayley to transfer to Metro State next fall, but she will be greatly missed on our campus!”

Kimberly Swinney
Director of Student Life
PTK Staff Advisor
Inver Hills Community College

More about Hayley…

Hayley Ahr

Originally from Farmington, Minnesota, Hayley graduated from Farmington High School, Class of 2022. She has one younger brother, Jackson, 12, who is in his first year of middle school, and one younger sister, Penelope, 9, who is in her second to last year of elementary school.

“Neither of my parents went to college, so I am a first-generation college student,” Hayley said. “My mom, Sam, is a stay-at-home mom. My dad, Chris, works for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.”

Hayley is an avid puzzle lover. “I enjoy any kind of puzzle or brain teaser that can be a fun challenge to solve,” she said. “I especially love escape rooms; I have done more than ten escapes rooms in Minnesota and am always excited to try new ones. When I’m not doing puzzles, I am often with my siblings, going to parks, swimming, or doing car karaoke.”

Hayley resides in Farmington, Minnesota.

Hayley Ahr life and college gallery

Hayley Ahr Q & A

What inspired you to major in business at Inver Hills?

I took almost all of the business courses that my high school offered and fell in love with them. I’ve known since my sophomore year that business was what I wanted to pursue, but I wasn’t sure what area of business I wanted to go into. It was through Inver Hill’s transfer program that I got to learn more in-depth concepts and find what I was passionate about.

Why have you chosen to pursue a career in human resources?

I chose to pursue a career in human resources because I’ve always had an interest in outreach and working with people. Being able to match someone to a job that fits them, and their goals would be a job that would provide a large sense of accomplishment for me.

Additionally, it’s a field that has a wide range of tasks and challenges and diverse responsibilities that keep the role new and exciting.

How did your business coursework at Inver Hills help prepare you to continue your education at Metropolitan State University?

The business coursework at Inver Hills served as a chance for me to experience many different business pathways including accounting, economics, marketing, management, law, etc. The opportunity to learn the basic principles of each pathway helped me learn what I was really passionate about and wanted to pursue a more in-depth degree for.

Three words that describe you as a college graduate:

How did your participation in Phi Theta Kappa help advance your academic and career goals?

In terms of academics, Phi Theta Kappa gave me the opportunity to learn study skills and ideas for more effective time management from other community college students. From a career perspective, being a part of our chapter’s leadership team helped me improve my communication and outreach skills. Furthermore, our leadership development studies helped me understand my own servant leadership style and how I can improve my leadership capabilities.

What advice would you give students thinking about joining the Student Senate?

I would absolutely encourage them to join the Student Senate. Student Senate is not only a community of really kind and friendly faces, but they are also a group of students whose primary focus is to advocate for and serve as the voice of the students.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Inver Hills?

My favorite memory would be going to the regional Phi Theta Kappa conference in Duluth with my fellow officers. It was a great chance to learn more about engaging and working with chapter members and increase my leadership skills. It was also an opportunity to grow my connections with my fellow officers and improve our synergy as a team. It was a conference I truly won’t forget.

What person has influenced your life the most and why?

The people that have influenced my life the most would definitely be my parents. Throughout my education, my parents have always been there for me, offered their support, and gave me the confidence to overcome obstacles.

While my parents have always been supportive, they also encouraged independence and self-reliance. They taught me how to think critically, solve problems, and take responsibility for my actions. This balance of support and independence has been crucial in my development as a capable and confident individual.

If you could make one thing happen on Earth right now, what would it be?

If I could make one thing happen on Earth right now, I would bring peace and justice to Palestine. The ongoing conflict has caused immense suffering and affected countless lives. Bringing relief to those directly affected serves as a powerful example of conflict resolution and the step necessary to build a more peaceful and empathetic world.

One word that best describes your experience at Inver Hills:


Hayley Ahr 12 Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Color Guard!
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Songkhla, Thailand
  3. Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Walk on a hiking trail down into the Grand Canyon
  4. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Help fund a project in my community like a park, library, or community center 2) Go on a cabin vacation with my family 3) Set money aside for my future master’s program
  5. Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani
  6. Time period (past or future) you would explore if you could time travel: The Renaissance Period
  7. One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: Later in my career, one of my main goals is to able to buy a larger home for my family; my parents and siblings have always been a source of motivation for me, so I would love to be able to repay that support
  8. Your national bird if you were your own country: Dracula parrot
  9. Dream occupation: Human resources recruitment manager
  10. Person you would most like to meet: Bo Burnham
  11. Skill you would most like to learn and master: I would love to learn new languages and expand on the languages I’ve taken classes for (Spanish, Sign Language)
  12. Most important issue or problem facing humankind: The most important issue facing humankind today is the lack of empathy; empathy is a trait that enables us to better understand and share the feelings of others and is essential for building a compassionate and cohesive society; lack of empathy leads to a lack of understanding between individuals and fosters division, discrimination, and dehumanization, making it easier for people to justify harmful actions against others; by prioritizing empathy, we can create a more inclusive and peaceful world that fosters cooperation and builds a future where everyone can thrive
Learn more about Business programs at Inver Hills by contacting:

Admissions Team
College Center

Learn more about Phi Theta Kappa at Inver Hills by contacting:

Kimberly Swinney
Director of Student Life
PTK Staff Advisor

Sadie Pendaz-Foster, PhD
Sociology Faculty
PTK Faculty Advisor

Tanya Smutka
Biology Faculty
PTK Faculty Advisor

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