Business alum Cory Armand works to build up the community
Everything in life is a process. Most things don’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful. Cory Armand, a 2015 graduate from the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics, knows this firsthand.
When Armand started his first semester at IU Northwest, he was working the second shift. “At the time, IU Northwest had a swing shift program for students. It was the perfect setup,” he said.
Despite his challenging schedule, Armand soaked up all his business classes had to offer. Thanks to engaged professors who took an interest in him personally, he had the support he needed to persevere through the challenges.
“I had professors that were just outstanding,” he said. “It’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one. Without them collectively, I don’t know how I would have made it through all those years.”
And Armand did more than just “make it through” his business degree—he thrived. Today, he is committed to giving back to the community and university that helped him grow.
As a result of his determination and the education he received at the Northwest campus, Armand had the confidence to launch his own business. While Armand Investment Group (AIG) has been growing for 13 years, as of 2022, he is working for his own company full-time.
Making a difference
AIG isn’t your average investment group—its goal is to truly make a difference in the Gary community. “Our purpose is to buy properties, renovate, update and beautify them,” Armand said. “We bring the property back to life, and in turn, provide a nice, affordable home for the residents of Gary.”
Not only is Armand’s work making Gary a more beautiful place to live, but it’s also directly impacting the local economy in numerous ways. By revitalizing a neighborhood, AIG creates jobs for contractors and utility workers and puts the property back on the tax roll.
“It’s a domino effect. Many people are affected by every property we buy because so many people get involved,” he said.
Armand is giving back to Gary in a big way through real estate, but he certainly isn’t finished there. He serves on the campus’s alumni board and works various projects dedicated to giving back, from food drives to community picnics.
Recently, Armand bought a building just a few miles from IU Northwest, and he already has several plans in mind on how this property can reinvigorate the community. “I want to attract students to come in and do business, and I want to offer a mentorship program to business students,” he said.
Armand is excited to stay connected to IU Northwest and function as a mentor in any way he can. “There are other people that have the same story as me,” he said. “They just need someone to say, ‘hey, you can do it.’ That’s what drove me to be a mentor—if no one pushed me, I would have given up.”
The story of Armand and AIG is a testament to a lot of things, but nothing more so than the power of perseverance. AIG didn’t skyrocket to success overnight and instead, required over a decade of calculated planning.
“One thing you learn in school is planning,” he said. “I’m a big believer in putting everything in writing. When you actually see your thoughts on paper, it comes to life and helps you to execute.”
Success isn’t something most of us can achieve after just one month or one year, and a slower climb to the top is all part of the process. Armand shows us that it’s not about how fast you get there, but your commitment to giving back along the way.