AGEC Senior Derek Berkshire is passionate about helping others tell their story and has great advice for his fellow students

Name: Derek Berkshire

Hometown: Monticello, IN

High school: Caston High School

Major & Concentration: Agribusiness Marketing & Agricultural Communication

Why did you come to Purdue: Purdue has been home long before I started my freshman year. Growing up surrounded by the agricultural industry made it an obvious choice. Whether I was visiting campus for conferences, visiting my brother or catching up with friends, Purdue has always been my home away from home. The quality of education is the perfect way to top it off!

Favorite Purdue tradition: Eating at Triple XXX. As cliché as it sounds, nothing beats a good burger and better friends!

Top three influences at Purdue:
  1. Joining the Purdue Foundation Student Board
  2. Working with Dr. Mark Tucker 
  3. Being surrounded by faculty who challenge me have been the biggest influencers of my Purdue experience.
Five words to describe Purdue:
  • Opportunity
  • Learning
  • Growth
  • Family
  • Experience

Top five highlights of your career:

  1. Competing at the National Agri-Marketing Association conference 
  2. Visiting Naples, Florida, with Purdue Foundation Student Board at President’s Council Annual Weekend
  3. Studying abroad in Bath, England, for a semester and traveling across Europe
  4. Giving out free compliments across campus in the middle of a very cold February
  5. Moving around the U.S. for different internships each summer, made possible by the career fair and Purdue connections
Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: As stereotypical as it is, I would still like to do every major Purdue tradition before graduation

Places you have been as a Purdue student:
  • Internships: Springdale, Arkansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Study Abroad: Lived in England and visited: Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France
  • Conferences/Competitions: Kansas City; Naples, Florida; New York City
Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Pre-Med…I’d love to become a surgeon in a second life

Favorite club/organization: Purdue Foundation Student Board

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Grand Prix

Favorite Purdue event: Purdue Day of Giving

Favorite place to study: WALC conference rooms on the third floor

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: On a brisk walk across campus

Favorite spot on campus: The Center for Food and Agribusiness, WALC or Dauch Alumni Center

Favorite thing about CoA: Although Purdue is a big university, being a part of the College of Agriculture is like being a part of a small, close-knit family.

Favorite thing about AGEC: I’ve never met a group of students and faculty more dedicated to ensuring student success and growth, albeit, I might be a little biased.

Favorite thing about your major: As a double major student, getting to focus on both sides of the industry, creative direction and business strategy, has allowed me to gain a broader understanding of the world. All of this started with choosing Agribusiness as my major.

Favorite class: AGEC 333: Food Distribution – A Retailing Perspective or AGEC 429: Agribusiness Marketing

Favorite professor: Dr. Mark Tucker

Coolest project: Designing the marketing plan for NAMA in my first design class or completing quantitative marketing case study projects in AGEC 429.

Three biggest accomplishments:
1. Getting the opportunity to direct Purdue Foundation Student Board
2. Setting a goal for internship experiences and realizing Purdue allowed me to accomplish those goals
3. Putting my life on campus on hold to accomplish a life-long dream of living in Europe

Things on your resume not listed above: Mortar Board, Coca-Cola Scholar, Outstanding Sophomore/Junior in AGEC, Outstanding Junior in ASEC

Three words to describe you:
  • Positive
  • Passionate
  • Purposeful
What are you passionate for: While at Purdue, my biggest passion has been trying to gain any experience I could, regardless of topic area or people involved. In general, I’m passionate about helping others telling their story in a way others can connect to and relate with.

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: It is the most vital industry in the world with the most potential to be revolutionized with technology. Despite this, it is one of the most controversial, personal and ever-changing industries in the world. 

What motivates you: Finding the next thing to set my soul on fire or helping others to do the same.

Favorite quote: “Be here.”

Personal Motto: Always assume positive intent.

Where do you want to end up: Working in a city, domestically or internationally, helping ag clients better tell their story.

Advice for underclassman: Being successful is not being really great at everything. It’s understanding what you are good at and putting yourself in situations where you can use those skills. It’s that simple.

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: You get what you give. Purdue is truly a global network with endless opportunities to discover yourself, stretch yourself, grow your friends and family, network, have fun and live life. But these experiences only happen if you work for them and make them happen.

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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