Made the most of every moment and every relationship; motivated to serve for equality, inclusion, and inspire others

Olivia West 

Hometown: LaPorte, IN 

High school: LaPorte High School 

Major & Concentration: Sales and Marketing 

Why did you come to Purdue: Purdue has an excellent reputation for building people who change the world and I am one of them. 

Top three influences at Purdue

  1. Randall Lewis – the first Purdue faculty to believe in me and invest in my development
  2. LeeAnn Williams – Academic Advisor that cares about not just what I do, but who I am
  3. Vice Provost Dr. John Gates – mentor that intentionally checks in with me and encourages my dreams  

Five words to describe Purdue

  • Excellence
  • Persistence
  • Grit
  • Versatile
  • Unwavering 


Top five highlights of your career:

  1. Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar
  2. Nestle Diversity Leadership Symposium 
  3. Forte Women in Business Foundation – Campus Lead
  4. Securing Fortune 500 Internship
  5. Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain 

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: Gotten involved with minority organizations sooner 


Places you have been as a Purdue student

  • Madrid, Spain for study abroad where I traveled to 8 Spanish cities – along with Portugal, and London
  • Washington, DC 3 times for professional conferences
  • Detroit, Michigan for Forbes 30 Under 30 Conference
  • Phoenix, Arizona for National Convention
  • Madison, Wisconsin- MANRRS Regional Conference 


Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Organizational Leadership and General Management  

Favorite club/organization: MANRRS & Forte Women in Business Foundation 

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Hammer Down Hunger

Favorite place to study: RAWLS 3rd floor by the windows 

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: Co-Rec and Black Cultural Center 

Favorite spot on campus: RAWLS 3rd floor by windows  

Favorite thing about CoA: National Recognition 

Favorite thing about your major: It teaches relatability and relevance  

Favorite class: AGEC 331 – Principles of Selling in Agricultural Business

Favorite professor: Dr. Downey 

Coolest project: Case competitions with sponsored by Accenture and Deloitte. These world renowned consulting companies provided me with a real world problem solving experience in which I was able to collaborate with students across campus and across all majors to come to one solution. Along with the real world problem solving skills I was able to network with company professionals and gain insight and access to internship recruiting programs.


Three biggest accomplishments

  1. Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar
  2. Study Abroad
  3. Emerging Leader scholarship program

Things on your resume not listed aboveI am currently interning with Beck's Hybrids as an Innovation Intern. I am also hosting a weekly student speaker series via Instagram that highlights stellar students at Purdue called "Leave Your Legacy" and "Stand For Something." 

Three words to describe you

  • Trailblazer
  • Resilient
  • Confident 

What are you passionate for: INCLUSION: Serving ones who need it the most, breaking down cultural barriers to promote equality 

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: The opportunity to diversify the workforce in order to bring learning and value to people from diverse backgrounds.

What motivates you: Success is what you are doing compared to what you should be doing. I am on a path to excellence and I need to keep moving forward. 

Favorite quote: "I can do all things through Christ that gives me strength..." (Philippians 4:13) 

Personal Motto: There is no going back so keep pushing forward.  

Accepted employment: I have accepted a job as a Marketing Associate with Eli Lilly and Company post-graduation.

Advice for underclassman: Every moment matters. Every relationship matters. It is increasingly important to use your time wisely and make decisions that will benefit your future. It is time to ACTIVATE and truly chase your dreams. The best is yet to come! 

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: When we were younger, people always said "just do your best" and after my time at Purdue I have learned that my best is more than enough to be successful. I will continue being a servant leader and be a blessing to others as I move throughout life. 

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

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