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.

DuPont Pioneer- Marie Annexstad

This summer I worked for DuPont Pioneer as a Marketing Communications intern. My position was located in the Northern Business Unit office which is in Mankato, Minnesota and allowed me to live in my home state for the summer. I started in the middle of May and completed my internship at the end of August.

I found out about this job position through the Kansas State University Career Fair.

An internship’s outcome depends on what you make of the opportunities you have been presented with. When I began this position I had a set of tasks which I had to complete. While I was setting my goals along with my supervisor I asked if she would consider allowing me to take on a standing initiative in the business unit and create a marketing plan for it. She agreed and handed me the reins of the launch of GrowingPoint agronomy in the business unit.

Pioneer’s presence at trade shows provided opportunities to promote GrowingPoint using the already established channels. We ran a strong social media push beginning with our first trade show during the first week in August continuing through our last trade show that ended in the middle of September. Other methods of promotion included print, digital, and radio media. Creating this marketing plan was the favorite part of my internship.

In the beginning, I was immediately put to work on the design and launch of a brand new initiative. This initiative was the creation of digital sell sheets, for our business unit. I found this assignment to be the most difficult part of my internship as a lot of data had to be organized in Excel. I did, however, become proficient in using Excel more efficiently. Sell sheets have links to product profile pages that display large amounts of agronomic information which assists sales representatives and growers to make informed decisions on the right products for their operations.

Next, it was my responsibility to choose an app which would be the best format to display the sell sheets in.  Through much research I found the app Adobe Reader to be the most useful. I developed and presented a tutorial that would help guide sales representatives step-by-step through the process of how to use sell sheets effectively with customers throughout the business unit.

In addition, I was fortunate to have been given the job of organizing and planning trade shows. During the summer the Northern Business Unit attends four major summer trade shows: Minnesota Farm Fest, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, Dakota Fest, and Big Iron. Planning of each show included opportunities to lead conference calls with different committees to make sure logistics were in order including graphics, giveaways, landscaping, promotional material, and workers.  Each show hosted a different array of people, and required different tactics to market Pioneer® products. I traveled to and attended all of the trade shows and coordinated Pioneer’s presence at each show on-site.

I enjoyed being given the responsibility to design various graphics to market Pioneer’s new initiatives Pioneer GrowingPoint Agronomy and Encirca Services.

I also assisted with creating materials to help sales representatives with their responsibilities. These included corn and soy print sell sheets, forage print sell sheets, and handouts on various topics. Encirca Services was a new initiative for Pioneer this year, so I created a tutorial for sales representatives to aid them in understanding of the process of how to make an Encirca Note.

My experience with Pioneer as an intern this summer helped me to develop professionally. I was expected to work independently.  As a result I learned to prioritize as I juggled many responsibilities. I learned to communicate efficiently and effectively with my superiors. The work environment was intense and professional. I learned to conduct myself in a similar manner. Overall, this was the best internship experience I have had thus far. I am confident that the after I graduate from college I will be pursuing a career in marketing and communications in a work environment similar to Pioneer.

I recommend this internship to anyone who loves design, event planning, and marketing. It was a great place for me to grow and develop professionally. To apply, visit the DuPont Pioneer Career Development Center.

3i SHOW Internship- Jennifer Ochs

The saying “time flies when you are having fun” is so very true. It seems like yesterday I was moving into the dorms and now I am about to graduate from college. Last spring I realized that I really wanted to get a summer internship to build my agricultural communications skills and prepare myself for the professional world outside of college. I was hoping to find something close to home in Jetmore, Kansas and I knew that there were not many if any established communications internships in the area. So I began to think about what I really wanted to do with my degree and came to the conclusion that I would be best working in advertising, marketing and sales.

Growing up I have always enjoyed attending trade shows, especially farm shows and luck for me one of the largest farm shows in Kansas is a short 30 minute drive from my house and is known as the 3i SHOW. I did some research on the show and then I sent a short email to the 3i SHOW asking if they have ever had a summer intern. I told them I felt it would be highly beneficial to have a summer communications intern to assist in the communications before, during and after the show. They replied shortly after and said that they did not have a program but would forward the email to the president of the 3i SHOW for consideration. A few weeks later I received a call from the 3i SHOW asking me to come in for an interview and to send my resume. The interview was in March and they offered me the position immediately after the interview.

My work at the 3i SHOW was to manage all communications. My duties included writing press releases, designing advertisements, working on the spring and summer WKMA Newsletters, taking pictures, updating Facebook and Twitter, working with logo designs, and sending out email blasts to exhibitors, volunteers and media about upcoming events and news regarding the show. I also spent some time doing general office work when needed.

The most difficult thing about my internship was trying to keep 500 exhibitors happy. Before the show I would assist in helping place last minute exhibitor requests in the available spaces, during the show I would talk to exhibitors about how the show was going for them and try to fix any complaints they may have.

My communications skills have improved because of my experience at the 3i SHOW, and I am now a better agricultural communicator because of this opportunity. I can now write a press release and feel comfortable about my writing, I am more knowledgeable about the Adobe Design Suite, I am more comfortable speaking in public, I enjoy working with social media for a business, and most importantly I am assured that choosing to be an agricultural communicator is what I am best at and what I love to do.

This internship has helped prepare me for my future careers in agricultural communications. Overall this experience has been great, and I am very grateful that they took the chance to hire me as the Communications Intern for the summer. The skills I have gained will be valuable for the rest of my career and the people I met will be great contacts to help me land jobs in the future. While I was not paid for this internship, I was honored to receive the 2013 WKMA Scholarship. I truly enjoyed my time spent at the 3i SHOW, and I would encourage anyone interested in farm shows or communications in southwest Kansas to contact the 3i SHOW for a potential internship opportunity.