College of Business sophomore and marketing student Edwin Brkic was busy that day, with an interview, an exam, and work all before noon. It would have been natural to ignore the ping of his phone—to come back to the text when he had more time. But Brkic is a little different—he likes being busy. He also really likes being involved and serving the College of Business.

He is part of the social media team for the College of Business and is getting ready to serve as the vice president of marketing for the Business Week Team. In the American Marketing Association, he just wrapped up his term as director of professionalism and is now the director of fundraising. He also serves as the vice president of external affairs for the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity.

And even though he had a full morning that day, he read the text. He’s glad he did because that particular text was very good news—he found out he is this year’s recipient of the Connie Krug Award for the College of Business. This is a big deal for anyone, but for a sophomore, it’s almost unheard of.

“To hear that I may be the first sophomore to have won this award has made me so proud of myself and that my accomplishments have been recognized,” said Brkic. “This award signifies that anyone can achieve anything with enough dedication regardless of where you are in college.”

“This award signifies that anyone can achieve anything with enough dedication regardless of where you are in college.”

Edwin Brkic

The award is named for the highly esteemed Connie Duffy Krug, who devoted herself to the personal and professional development of business students until her retirement in 2000. Krug was an integral part of the College of Business for more than 20 years, holding responsibility for many programs that honored students and alumni or welcomed distinguished guests. Through the planning and development of many of these events, she mentored and guided students as they learned about leadership, organization, and responsibility. Krug was known and loved by many years of Business Week and Student Leadership Advisory Board officers with whom she worked closely. This award is given annually to a student who exhibits outstanding qualities in their activities within the College of Business. 

Each College of Business Student organization submits a name and credentials of one of their members to the Student Leadership Advisory Board (SLAB) which is made up of all of the presidents of the COB student organizations. The award is then voted upon by the SLAB membership based upon a nominee’s commitment to service in activities within the College.

“I could not be more thankful for my peers who are always encouraging me to go above and beyond,” said Brkic. “I have learned that being involved (early) is the best way to develop yourself professionally and make lifelong friends along the way.”

Brkic is considering potentially working in Chicago after graduation, and he might continue his education with an MBA. For now though, he has a lot of things to do for the College of Business.

“I am a firm believer in learning from experienced mentors and being a mentor figure yourself,” Brkic said. “I am going to continue to find ways to innovate and help other students with their professional growth.”