Consistently embracing and enjoying the journey
Name: Kayla Zalesny
Hometown: Nipomo, CA
Majors and Concentrations: Agribusiness Marketing
Minors: Crop Science and Organizational Leadership, Industrial Sales Certificate
Why Purdue: I chose Purdue because I wanted to get outside of my small hometown bubble, learn to appreciate an entirely different side of agriculture, and gain valuable connections. The pictures that I saw of Purdue also looked nice.
Favorite Purdue Tradition: Purdue Grand Prix
Top 3 Influences at Purdue:
- My Professors and Advisors
- New life-long friends
- NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association)
Top 5 memories at Purdue:
- Rushing the field after beating Michigan State
- Getting crowned Grand Prix's Race 67 Queen
- Traveling to NAMA competitions with my awesome team
- Attending Purdue Basketball games in Mackey
- Mom's Day and Dad's Day weekends
Places I've been while at Purdue:
- Italy Study Abroad with the Animal Science Department
- Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri with NAMA
- New Orleans, Louisiana with AFA
- Phoenix, Arizona with Phi Mu Sorority
- Goodyear, Arizona, internship with Duncan Family Farms
- Thriving Vincennes, Indiana, internship with Corteva Agriscience
Favorite Club: NAMA
Favorite Student Lead Event/Initiative: Purdue Grand Prix Race
Favorite Purdue Event: Farmers Market
Favorite Place to Study: Union Hotel inside Boiler Up Bar
Favorite thing about the College of Ag: I appreciate how Purdue's College of Agriculture facilitates making this 40,000-people campus seem a whole lot smaller and brings with it a family atmosphere. Coming from California, I knew pretty much no one, but it was the incredible advisors and ag students that helped me feel welcomed and accepted into not only the Midwest, but Purdue as a whole.
Favorite Class: Agry 505 Forage Management or Agry 598 Drone Imagery
Favorite Teacher: Brady Brewer, Corey Gerber, and Lee Schweitzer
Three biggest accomplishments:
- Placing 2nd in the Nation with NAMA
- Accomplishing my academic goals thus far
- Accepting a full-time job with Corteva Agriscience before Senior year
Something not listed on my resume: During Covid, I was bored and wanted to make some money, so I started a decorative chocolate covered strawberry business named BerryKueen and business boomed.
Future plans: I have accepted a full-time position with Corteva Agriscience as an Associate Territory Manager.
Advice for lower classmen: 4 years will fly by if you like it or not. Take advantage of the short time you are given by embracing challenges, joining clubs and extracurriculars, investing in your friendships, and doing things that make YOU happy. It's your 4 years to make it a time you'll look back on with plenty of stories and a smile.
Biggest takeaway from Purdue: Purdue is meant to challenge you in the best way possible. Soak up the short time you are given and use it to positively impact your future endeavors.