Graduate Q&A: Derrick Buntrock

'The relationships that I have gained on this campus are definitely what stand out'
​Jerry Poling | January 11, 2019

Following is a Q&A with one of the 763 students who received a diploma Dec. 15 at UW-Stout

Hometown: Lake Geneva
Major: Industrial design, minor in economics
Awards, honors: Cum Laude, four-year Chancellor’s Award winner, featured in the American Swedish Institute’s Dynamite Night exhibition in conjunction with the Nobel Creations Exhibit.

Derrick Buntrock and his wife, BethWhy did you choose UW-Stout? For the great industrial design program. I had toured other schools, but it wasn’t until meeting Professor Noah Norton that I knew UW-Stout was where I wanted to be. The hands-on learning, studio and process lab facilities, and being able to get right into major courses, was key to choosing UW-Stout for my college experience.

What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? The biggest challenge I faced — and still am figuring out — is what the future holds. For a short time, I thought about changing majors to economics, but as I got deeper into the industrial design program I realized I could use a minor in economics to supplement my design work. Understanding the whole product development process has been a challenge in understanding how I can be my best in the industrial design field.

What stands out among your college experiences? The great relationships I have built throughout my 4½ years at Stout. Starting with my fraternity, which I joined in my first few weeks on campus, the Wisconsin Sigma Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon made me feel right at home. The bonds I created with my brothers are ones that will last a lifetime. I then was able to become a part of the industrial design family, which I spent countless hours and late nights with in labs, studios and at houses working and messing around. Unexpectedly, the men’s and women’s club volleyball team also became family to me, not because I was on the team but because of my wife’s involvement. I became a dedicated super fan. Along with all of the great professors I had, and marrying my high school sweetheart, the relationships that I have gained on this campus are definitely what stand out.

What’s next? I am not sure what the future holds for my career yet, as I am still job-searching, but I am really looking forward to starting a life with my wife, Beth (pictured with him), outside of school.


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