Spotlight: Kelsey Gunderson

Following her older sister’s footsteps to the University of Minnesota, Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing (AECM) alum Kelsey Gunderson '13 explored the options of the AECM program. “The agriculture industry was enticing, and AECM allowed for different opportunities to pursue after graduation,” she said.

Kelsey grew up on a diverse crop and livestock farm near Raymond, Minnesota. On the farm, they raised farrow to finish hogs, milked about 40 dairy cows, raised a few beef cattle, and rotated their field with corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. She graduated in December 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education- Leadership and Communication with a minor in Mass Communications (before the Agricultural Communication & Marketing major was available).

During her time at the University of Minnesota, Kelsey was active in the Agricultural Education Club where she served as the communications co-chair and chair for Ag Awareness Day. She was also a member of the Lambda Delta Phi sorority, serving as Secretary, along with being a member of the 2013 National Agri-Marketing Association team. Coming into the program, Kelsey was not quite sure what her end career goal was. She said, “Many courses encourage internships and informational interviews, so the program helped me explore many different ag communications career paths, eventually leading me to a marketing agency.”

After graduating, Kelsey took a role at Broadhead Agency in Minneapolis as an Account Manager. She worked at Broadhead for three years, and became a Client Service Manager during her time at the company. She recently joined the team at Exponent PR as a Senior Account Executive. Her favorite part about her job is the clients and companies she works with. “Being able to work with different agricultural clients that have differing communication and marketing needs match up with my passion for being involved in all aspects of agriculture,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey’s favorite memory of her undergraduate career at the University of Minnesota was storming the court after the U of M men’s basketball team upset #1 Indiana. Overall, the U gave her many opportunities to build relationships, work, and connect with diverse groups of people. She works with many U of M graduates in her line of work, has client connections, and she continues to run into alumni at conferences and events.

Her advice for new and current U of M students is to, “figure out how you learn best. For some it is in the classroom, for others, it may be networking and participating in informational opportunities, and for others, it is hands-on job experiences. Take advantage of the ways that work the best for you.”

View the original spotlight here.