Cai Chen 

Out of State Student Pursues Passions in Agriculture and Data Science 

Name: Cai Chen 

Hometown: Elmont, New York 

Major & Concentration: Agribusiness Management 

Minors or Certificates: Data Driven Agriculture Minor and Applications in Data Science Certification 

Why did you come to Purdue: Going to Purdue was a no brainer for me! I’m not from an Agriculture background and wanted to learn everything I can about the Ag industry.  

Favorite Purdue tradition: Fountain Run 

Top influences at Purdue 

  • Ryan Musselman (AGEC 296) 
  • Purdue Data Mine (Maggie and Dr.Ward)
  • Hillenbrand Residential Assistant (Nick Bonanno)
  • Working in Dr. Feng food science lab with Han Chen.


with check

Top five memories of your time at Purdue 

  1. Winning first place in the student soybean innovation competition with friends.
  2. Going Skiing with Purdue Village
  3. Going on Agribusiness tours (AGEC 296)
  4. Going to Kansas City with AFA
  5. Going down Slayter Hill

Places you have been as a Purdue student 

  • Kansas City (AFA Leaders)
  • Chicago (AFA Food Institute)
  • Decatur, IL (ADM)
  • Havana, IL (ADM Internship)
  • Minneapolis, MN (ADM Internship)
  • Indianapolis (Focus Group)

Favorite club/organization: Purdue AG Envoy 

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Ag Week 


Favorite Purdue event: Purdue Basketball 

Favorite Social Activity: My weekly floor events. 

Favorite place to study: Pfendler Hall 

Favorite spot on campus: Discovery Park 

bowling alley

Favorite thing about CoA: Everyone is willing to help you succeed. 

Favorite thing about your major: Amazing advisors (I had 3 different advisors in 4 years) 

Favorite class: AGEC 296 - Learning Community  

Favorite professor: Ryan Musselman 


Coolest project: Working as an undergraduate data researcher with the Beck’s Hybrids and John Deere Data Mine Corporate Partners team. 

Three biggest accomplishments 

  1. Winning $20,000 through the Student Soybean Innovation Competition. 
  2. Being a Residential Assistant for Hillenbrand and Teaching Assistant for Data Mine.
  3. Learning how to be (sort of) an adult.

cai chen

Things on your resume not listed above 

  • AGEC Undergraduate Honors Program Researcher
  • Boiler Success Team
  • CME Trading Challenge
  • Habitats for Humanity Lafayette

Where do you want to end up: I want to end up owning my own business one day.  

Advice for underclassman: Never be afraid to try something because you think your “unqualified”. Try the different opportunities at Purdue, you never know if you like it unless you try. You miss every shot you don’t take! 

 cai chen with classmates

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: It’s important to network and learn new skills. You never know when that network can land you a great opportunity or when that “useless” skill can simplify your job. Keep an open mind and always be ready to learn.