Emily Gwin, Penn State University

Emily Gwin/Penn State University
Emily Gwin

Location: New Castle, Pennsylvania
College/University attended: Penn State University, State College, Pa. (2009)
Major: Agribusiness management, with a minor in ag communications
Career: Started with Progressive Dairyman as web editor in 2009; now East Coast Editor, working remotely from western Pennsylvania.

Why did you choose Penn State?

When I first started looking at colleges, I ruled out Penn State because I thought it was too big, so my parents and I looked at Delaware Valley University. Then, I went to an open house at Penn State and found within the College of Ag, you could find your own niche and make a smaller, hands-on experience for yourself.

How are you using what you learned in college today?

Overall, I’m putting a lot more classes from my minor to use than my major, but I don’t think those ag business classes are wasted. I was also active in the Penn State Dairy Science Club and Alpha Zeta, a co-ed, national honorary ag fraternity; within both, I had leadership roles that related back to communications.

Advice for students thinking about college:

Since graduating from college, I have a different perspective on the “everyone has to go to college” mentality, because there’s a lot to be said to going into a trade career, if that’s where your skills lie. But personally, I wouldn’t have known all the career opportunities within agriculture, had I not gone to Penn State. It’s about being honest with yourself and what your skills are, where your passion is and going from there.

Even if you want to go back to the farm, college gives you an opportunity to build a network for yourself, and to make connections — not only your peers, but the professors and Extension people that you can continue to reach out to as you make decisions for your farm.

I’d also emphasize how important those extracurricular activities are. You can’t focus only on your coursework; you need to get involved.


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