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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Lecturer Profile: Denise Kestner

March 25, 2021

AEDE lecturer Denise Kestner works in human resources and teaches two AEDE courses: Principles of Agribusiness Management and Human Resource Management in Small Business. She brings her experience working with hundreds of small businesses into the classroom. And sometimes she even brings in the actual small business owners too.    

“I love that she brought in guest speakers so we could hear directly from small business owners and make connections in the industry,” says Cora Dorman who is an Agribusiness and Applied Economics major.

Kestner teaches her students the importance of people and how they relate to success of business. She structures her course to also include the study of relevant and recent research that students access through the Harvard Business Review site, along with learning the practical applications of operating a business. Students who take Principles of Agribusiness Management complete a self-assessment that identifies their unique strengths that they can bring to an employer and a job and how they can assist an organization in furthering its goals and mission.

Kestner says the students then work on communicating their strengths and experience through their resume and in interviews so they can show how they have utilized these strengths in the competitive work world through internships.

“I respect that the students have expertise in an area I know nothing about - agriculture,” said Kestner. “I think what I bring from my experience is applicable in the industry, but they also teach me so much.”