Niek Essek

Niek Essek

Featured Student:

Niek Essek

PLC 2015

Written by Lena Chavez - Social Media Coordinator

Niek found his sense of community within PLC. He came to CU Boulder after graduating high school in a class of about 50 people and he was searching for that same type of environment. He said that he was drawn to PLC because he wanted to work on his professionalism and be able to network, but the program became more than that during his college career.

In addition to PLC, Niek is also involved with Air Force ROTC. He says that the PLC curriculum complements the ROTC curriculum and gives him a new perspective on leadership issues. He finds that ROTC focuses on leadership through action whereas PLC focuses on strategic, thoughtful leadership. The combination of the two curricula gives him a type of “dual perspective” on leadership. Niek is also a member of the PLC Student Staff as the ALE Coordinator.

Niek says he is inspired by people who can, “both think strategically and build great relationships with others.” He is still working towards a balance between of those two skills. Niek is known amongst his colleagues for his ability to analyze situations and problems, and amongst his friends for his reliability. When asked to describe himself in a sentence, he said, “I am driven to perform and passionate about service.” He takes pride in the fact that he participates in organizations because he wants to be involved and he cares about their cause. He wants to leave an impact with his work.

Niek hopes to continue this impact by commissioning into the United States Air Force and becoming an operational pilot. He says that his aspirations have changed over the past few years and have somewhat strayed from this chosen majors Biochemistry and MCDB. If he had the chance to go back, he would have taken the time to study computer science or taken computer science related courses.

Niek’s biggest piece of advice for a freshman PLCer would be, “Generally, just take the opportunities PLC can give you.” He explained that PLC is a lot more than just academics and the growth also comes from experiences within the program such as Student Staff or Experiential Weekends. Niek found that PLC “clicked” for him when his group gave their final presentations during their First-Year class - he experienced what it was like when his teammates were committed to quality and working as a team.

Outside of school and work, Niek enjoys eating at different places around Boulder. He also enjoys playing soccer, video games, shooting and getting more into skiing.

Past Featured Students

Floyd Pierce - PLC '13 Ryan Friedman - PLC '13 Allison Howard - PLC '14
Noah Starbuck - PLC '14 Bailee Mulholland - PLC '15 Chambers Giblin - PLC '14
Cece Frisinger - PLC '13 Gianna Ftizsimmons - PLC '13 Elise Collins - PLC '14
Ethan Gonzales - PLC '14 Joshua Reinstein - PLC '13 Prerit Oberai - PLC '14
Megan Ives - PLC '13 Blake Biskner - PLC '14 Alejandra Pedraza - PLC '14