ACM Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Brooke Wente

Brooke WenteEver since Brooke was young, she knew she wanted to study something agriculture-related when it came time to go to college. Brooke Wente, a senior majoring in Agricultural Communication and Marketing, grew up in the farm-centered community of Morris, Minnesota. Growing up, she was actively involved in both FFA and 4-H, which sparked her initial passion for agriculture.

The University of Minnesota was the only school Brooke toured. “When I found out there was a major that combined agriculture and communications, I was hooked.” She knew it was the exact place to further her education. “I love the combination of the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses -  it’s as if I go to a small school within a big school.” Contributing to her decision to attend the University of Minnesota, was Brooke’s high school agriculture teacher, Natasha Mortenson (who is a fellow Golden Gopher!). She also positively influenced Brooke on her decision to major in ACM.

In addition to studying Agricultural Communication and Marketing, Brooke is also double majoring in Strategic Communications through the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. During her undergraduate career thus far at the University of Minnesota, Brooke has been the most involved with the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), which is an on-campus organization. Through this particular experience, Brooke said she has, “gained a greater understanding of marketing and have been able to get a taste of what marketing professionals do on a daily basis.” Brooke currently serves as the chapter president.

She is also heavily involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at the U. In this experience, Brooke has had many opportunities to visit different agencies and businesses throughout the Twin Cities to learn more about the public relations industry. Brooke’s membership in PRSSA has introduced her to many wonderful individuals from public relations professionals to fellow peers. While at the University of Minnesota, Brooke’s favorite class was AFEE 3430: Communicating Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science to the Public, taught by Dr. Rebecca Swenson. “This class was hands-on, so we were constantly putting what we learned into action by writing press releases, feature stories, and creating communications campaigns.”

While Brooke has been active on campus, she has also held four different internships during her undergraduate career. Her first internship was with the Minnesota Pork Board. Brooke said, “I had so much fun talking with people about pig farming.” The next summer she interned with Land O’Lakes in their community relations department. In this position, Brooke helped plan events and coordinated donations to food banks across the country. During her spring 2016 semester, Brooke studied abroad in Sydney, Australia where she was the marketing and sales intern for a small consulting business called Sandwalk Partners. “I loved interning in a different country and learning more about their work culture,” she said. Lastly, Brooke interned at FLM+, a hybrid marketing agency that serves a variety of agriculture related clients. The work culture of this agency was fast-paced, but provided Brooke with a variety in her work which allowed her to learn something new each day.

As Brooke nears graduation, she said her dream job would be to run her own small business. Brooke said, “I would love to open up a communications firm so I could service clients within the agriculture industry.” Her advice to new and current U of M students, “is to find an organization you’re excited about and get involved. Seek more responsibility in an organization such as holding an officer position, leading a committee, or helping plan an event.” She also thinks every student should study abroad at least once during their college career. “Whether it is a week, month, or semester, there is so much to be gained from international travel. The most memorable experience of my college career was studying abroad in Australia.”

Brooke’s Favorites:

  • Color:  Teal
  • Song:  “Party for Two” by Shania Twain
  • Animal:  Beef calf
  • Movie:  The Sandlot
  • Book:  “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult
  • Quote:  “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”
  • Food:  Steak cooked medium rare
  • Hobby:  Baking. Her favorite thing to bake is cheesecake!