American Angus Association – Sarah Harris

I interned this summer with the American Angus Association as the communications and public relations intern. The application process was very fast paced and I was not sure what to expect when I got to Saint Joseph for the first day.

The original deadline to apply for this internship was March 1, and though I had thought about applying I did not get an application turned in. Luckily, a few weeks after the deadline Dr. Ellis forwarded an email from Jena McRell at the American Angus Association looking for more applicants for the position. I jumped at the missed opportunity and sent in my resume, cover letter, and two writing samples on March 23. I was amazed to get a reply the next morning — then set up a phone interview for March 25. I traveled to the Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Missouri for an interview on April 2.

A few days after the interview in Missouri I was offered the position and accepted. A few short weeks later, I packed up and headed to Saint Joseph for the summer. My internship lasted from May 18 to August 13, and was packed with a ton of experiences in a very short time.

Day one I was given a handful of assignments to start working on including putting together a media kit for the National Junior Angus Show, media releases to write and some design projects. It was almost overwhelming. I had never written a news release and I got lost looking for the office where I was conducting an interview; however, I did learn the layout of the Association building very quickly.

The American Angus Association was host to six interns this summer in different areas of focus — The Angus Journal, Angus Genetics Inc., events and activities, and Angus Media. I feel like I had one of the best experiences, as I was able to work in every area rather than just one. Going into the summer I was not sure what I wanted to do with my degree in when I graduate in December, but my experiences with the American Angus Association have given me a better direction.

My favorite part of the summer was by far working with the production team for The Angus Report. I got to experience everything from running the teleprompter to writing scripts for the show. It was very fulfilling to see videos that I had shot and interviews that I had cut be used for an actual television show.

Throughout the duration of my internship there was never a dull moment and the workload never slowed down, which made the summer fly by. The National Junior Angus Show in July was another one of my favorite parts of the experience. A majority of the work I had done in the summer was leading up to the show and it was inspiring to see everything come together. In addition to seeing my designs displayed around the show ring, barns and printed in the show book, I was able to get a years worth of experience in one week. While at the show in Tulsa, Okla., I gained experience with social media coverage, news releases on winners and events, video interviews to be used for The Angus Report television show, photography, and writing personal interest stories.

I would recommend this internship to everyone — especially those who are not sure of what path in communications they want to go down. This internship gives you experience in writing, design, photography, videography and social media management along with a chance to travel to shows, farms and ranches. I learned so much and cannot express how blessed I was to have this experience with the American Angus Association.

American Hereford Association- Amanda Sales

It was to be the first real job I’ve ever had, dependent upon using programs I was merely an amateur at. Sounds scary, right? That may be how my summer at the American Hereford Association felt at first, but that isn’t how it ended. I would not have traded my internship experience aboard the staff of Creative Services/Hereford Publications, Inc. for any other summer adventure.

My interning journey began June 2nd and wrapped up August 20th. In those two-and-a-half months, I learned a lot of valuable communication skills, but more importantly, I discovered a lot of insight about my future career plans. Working in Creative Services, I coordinated the creation and production of a wide range of promotional materials and catalogs for cattle (and elk) ranches. This involved using Adobe InDesign for layout and even a little design of my own, communicating preferences with clients, and also using Photoshop and Illustrator to assist in the design. Previous to this summer, I knew just as much about my future career as the next person. Then I fell in love with the kind of work I did and, using my creativity and critical thinking skills, I knew by the end of the summer that this was exactly the line of work I want to pursue.

The biggest personal progress I saw during my adventure was understanding and using the Adobe programs. Without AGCOM210 (Principles of Layout and Design) on my transcript, I wasn’t sure how easily I would adapt. Luckily the tutorials and guided use in our slow periods at work gave me a solid foundation of the Adobe cloud.

Along with the skills attained this summer, there were a lot of exciting events that took place. I really loved traveling to the Junior National Hereford Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The purpose of my attendance was labeling photos for the photographer to have them uploaded to the website and ordering shop. Though I worked long hours, it was exhilarating to be around the show atmosphere. I had never attended a national show before, so it was all so new to see the proceedings of the show life. A lot of neat things happened right at our office too. The AHA office is stationed right next to the big convention center in downtown Kansas City, where a lot of things occurred this summer. There was the National Skills USA Competition, Ramadan and President Barack Obama’s arrival, but by far the neatest part was when the American Idol auditions were in town. The day the judges came, our office took the lunch hour to stand outside for the arrival of J-Lo, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. (Look for me on television!)

Even with all of the excitement happening, there were still a few things I would have wanted different. I mentioned earlier my experience pushed me to a conclusion about my future career, though I also want to incorporate more than desk work into my upcoming career. My internship was solely desk and computer work, which doesn’t entirely suit my personality. I want to be out moving around, maybe capturing my own photos for any print work I do in the future.

I am thankful for all the time spent at the Hereford Association this summer and all the staff I worked with and I believe I can owe this whole great opportunity to knowing the right people. My boss for the summer is someone I have known through county 4-H for many years, and she has been giving me helpful tips about Ag Communications since I announced it was my intended study pursuit. She encouraged me to job shadow at the office prior to college, and I did just that. Two summers ago, I went in for a day and met everyone and learned what the office was like. I think it helped tremendously for my internship interview, which was by phone, because they all had a face to put with my name and a previous encounter to judge my assimilation to the office.

If you are looking for an internship that works extensively with design, you are good at communicating ideas with clients, you have a background in the beef industry, and you want to learn a wide variety of basic communication skills, I recommend this internship for you. Be looking out for the application next February!

Kansas Electric Cooperatives- Kennedy St. George

As a second year student at K-State, I never would have guessed that such an incredible experience would have come my way. I had the opportunity to intern with Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., from October 2013 through May of 2014.

Kansas Electric Cooperatives (KEC) is the statewide service organization for the rural electric cooperatives in Kansas. Formed in 1941, KEC represents the interests of our members which includes 29 distributive cooperatives and three generation and transmission electric co-ops. Located in Topeka, I commuted four days a week from Manhattan to be in the office. I also had the opportunity to see different parts of the state and worked from home some days as well.

I heard about the internship possibility after visiting the all university career fair in the fall and was hired on in October, after an internship with the State Fair of Texas. I was drawn to the internship due to the aspect of the magazine that was published and my interest in writing for a publication. Each month KEC and the communications team turns out Kansas Country Living magazine that has a circulation of 122,000 households.

Aside from the magazine, I was guaranteed a well rounded experience and I was not let down by that promise at all. My internship duties included writing for the magazine, as well as the newsletter, Rural Power, photography, and design; however, I got a lot more than that. I also had the opportunity to do event planning, advertisement sales, company representative at career shows and member annual meetings for our cooperatives across the state, interviewer for youth tour participants, and so much more. I had only opened Adobe suit once prior to this experience and now I have it on my personal computer and use it somewhere once a day.

My writings included feature stories, interview recaps, statewide news, legal issues that our members needed to know about, and even monthly book reviews. Each month I had the opportunity to layout and design cooperative specific centerspreads that are inserted into the magazine. I learned the value to deadlines when my direct supervisor was on maternity leave for two magazines!

A photo I took was even used on the cover of February 2014’s magazine! I took a lot of pictures for covers and of events that the cooperatives held across the state for their members. The photos were then used for projects either at KEC for the statewide or within the cooperatives centerspreads. Through my photography, I was able to learn more about Photoshop and had many projects to utilize what I learned. Trying to do a cover of KCL was my favorite thing to do in Photoshop.

I got a well-rounded experience and a lot of pieces to build my portfolio with my time at KEC. I have truly enjoyed the sense of community for the members we work for and this summer I will be headed to Dodge City for the communications specialist intern position with Victory Electric, one of the members that I help now through the state wide.

The professionalism and the skills that I acquired through my internship really set in stone for me that I enjoy working for a publication, working on deadline, and really do enjoy writing as much as I thought I had.

I cannot wait to see where this degree leads me in the future, but for now I couldn’t be more pleased for the opportunities that have been presented to me from the internship with Shana Read, Carrie Kimberlin, and the rest of the staff at Kansas Electric Cooperatives.