A leader in the making

Pictured is Tyler Earnst standing outside Schneider Hall in front of sculptureTyler Earnst

John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” No statement could be more fitting for Tyler Earnst’s experience as a Haworth College of Business student.

A senior majoring in sales and business marketing as well as leadership and business strategy, Earnst has an unmatched energy and passion for growing as both a professional and leader. He is all about learning by doing, gaining valuable skills and confidence in every experience he takes on at WMU Haworth. His growing list of accomplishments includes:

  • An impressive three internships, with a fourth planned for summer 2021.
  • Earning a G.W. and Edna M. Haworth Principled Leadership Scholarship.
  • Overseeing brand management for the student-operated Bronconess wine.
  • Serving as president of the Business Influencers Organization.
  • Being an active member of the Sales and Business Marketing Association.
  • Guiding first- and second-year students as part of the Business Association of Mentors.
  • Acting as the social media and podcast student lead for the Center for Principled Leadership and Business Strategy.

It’s these experiences that will take Earnst to the next level as a future professional. “I chose my majors because of my entrepreneurial background and desire to grow as a leader. I also wanted to gain experience from WMU’s nationally ranked programs,” he says. “Since coming to WMU, my goal has been to make the most of every opportunity, and that trend will continue into my career.”

Like many Business Broncos, Earnst is future-focused. “My 5-to-10-year plan is to become an enterprise sales manager who works to develop entry-level sales reps,” he says. “I hope to leverage my majors in sales and strategy to improve processes at a company and increase revenue. Ultimately, I would love to start my own business. Although I don’t know what the business would be, it must have a tie to improving some facet of life for the community.”

Determined to be the best professional version of himself, Earnst has been exploring different roles and company cultures through his internships, while acquiring the tools to develop as a leader. As a sales development intern for Whirlpool, he made waves on the luxury brand team by assisting reps in the Key West and East Coast markets. At Sandler Training by EAM Consulting Group, he began to develop his own portfolio through cold outreach to small-, medium- and enterprise-sized prospects throughout the state of Michigan. And finally, as an intern at Herman Miller, he became passionate about the company’s focus on sustainability and assisted the ergonomic sales team in growing revenue in the hospitality industry. 

“I’m really looking forward to bringing what I’ve learned from my internships into a full-time role,” Earnst says. “Additionally, WMU Haworth is preparing me to reach my professional goals through executive mentorship, world-class professors and real-life business projects.” 

One such project was serving as the student liaison to regional businesses for Bronconess. “My most memorable experience was launching the Bronconess Peach Bubbly sparkling wine with St. Julian in fall 2020,” Earnst says. “The work exposed us to all facets of business, and we had genuine responsibility for bringing the product to market successfully. I am really looking forward to supporting Bronconess for years to come as an alumnus, as the product is now available for order outside of Michigan as well.”

With a variety of professional experiences under his belt, Earnst is excited to step into his future career. But in the meantime, he looks forward to finding out what the rest of his time as a Business Bronco has in store. In January, he received a G.W. and Edna M. Haworth Principled Leadership Scholarship, which rewards outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to leading with values during their time at WMU and in their professional lives. “I am funding college 100% on my own, and this scholarship lifts a financial burden and allows me to focus more on my final two semesters,” he says. 

Those semesters will see Earnst focusing on growing the Bronconess wine brand, completing a summer internship at Dell, and devoting more time to mentoring pre-business students—especially during a year unlike any other. “Mentors throughout my college career have made an indescribable impact on me,” Earnst says. “I want to keep growing, and provide a similar opportunity to others.”