Double majored while focusing on building relationships; next step ... heading to grad school

Name: Stephen Schwartz

Hometown: Noblesville, IN

High school: Homeschooled

Major & Concentration: Agribusiness with concentration in Management

Why did you come to Purdue: Purdue Agriculture has always been home to me. I will be the third generation in my family to graduate from Purdue.

Favorite Purdue tradition: Fountain Runs!

Top three influences at Purdue:

  1. Dr. Fernandez
  2. Jeff Stefancic (Associate Dean of Students)
  3. Cameron Mann

Five words to describe Purdue:

  • Tradition
  • Excellence
  • Community
  • Opportunity
  • Challenge

Top five highlights of your career:

  1. Purdue beating Ohio State 49-20: I had a front row seat at the 30 yard-line and was one of the first students on the field.
  2. Representing Purdue in the President's Speech Competition at the National Agronomy meetings and helping lead the Agronomy club back to the top 3 Agronomy clubs in the nation.
  3. Winning an Intermural Basketball Championship in Mackey
  4. Packing 150,000 meals during Hammer Down Hunger 2019
  5. Being named to Mortar Board as one of the top 40 seniors at Purdue

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: I wish I would have had time to be a part of Ag Ambassadors and go on a semester abroad.

Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: I would major in Finance because I love accounting

Favorite club/organization: Purdue Mortar Board

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Hammer Down Hunger

Favorite Purdue event: Ag Week

Favorite place to study: Honors North

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: Honors North

Favorite spot on campus: Engineering Fountain on a warm night

Favorite thing about CoA: The community among students and across departments makes the CoA feel like family. I always seem to meet someone I know when walking through Ag Campus.

Favorite thing about AGEC: I love the professionalism in AGEC and how all the professors challenge the students to be more successful in their careers not just in college.

Favorite thing about your major: Agribusiness Management is very practical and does a great job of applying real world economic concepts to the challenges facing the agriculture industry.

Favorite class: AGEC 330

Favorite professor: Dr. Barnard

Coolest project: Burying underwear during an internship to evaluate the microbial populations as they decomposed the cotton over the summer.

Things on your resume not listed above: Purdue Walk-the-Talk Award for Integrity and Character and a second major in Agronomy: Crop & Soil Management

Three words to describe you:

  • Service
  • Motivated
  • Friendly

What are you passionate for: I am passionate about helping farming operations succeed, donating blood, and feeding people across the world.

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: The seasonality of agriculture is a unique challenge but the necessity for adaptation during every growing season intrigues me the most. At all times, there is the possibility that a weather event will change the entire equation and new challenges always arise.

What motivates you:  My passion is to make sure that I never leave anything on the table. I have to know that I gave it my best shot and that means I self-motivate a lot to get the best outcome I think is possible.

Favorite quote: "It's not personal Sonny, it's strictly business." – Michael Corleone The Godfather 

Personal Motto: Everyday I live, I learn how much I didn't know the day before.

Accepted employment: I plan on attending graduate school pursuing a Master's degree in Plant Physiology.

Where do you want to end up: My goal is to work in the industry and be a leader in the ever-changing agriculture industry.

Advice for underclassman: Make connections wherever you can. College became so much easier for me once I realized the power of connections with students, professors, and industry professionals. It makes schoolwork easier and a lot of fun too.

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: People matter more than all the classes and organizational activities. Focusing on building relationships in Agriculture is important but branching out and connecting with individuals from different backgrounds creates opportunities for new, innovative ideas and exciting plans.


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