This past summer I served as the Industry Information Intern with Certified Angus Beef. The internship was based out of Manhattan, Kan.
Certified Angus Beef, or CAB, is a not-for-profit organization that is considered a subsidiary of the American Angus Association. CAB’s operational strategies and various business ventures are multi-faceted.
The company’s main purpose is to promote Angus beef and in turn generate more revenue for its producers. They approach this operational goal from many different angles and work with different links in the production chain to accomplish their mission. Not only does CAB license feedlots and restaurants but their marketing department also provides materials to those who wish to advertise the fact that they sell or produce CAB branded meat.
The Industry Information Division works mostly with producers and feedlots. Their goals are to provide literature and information highlighting or featuring feedlots and producers that have done exceptionally well in terms of producing a high quality and consistent Certified Angus Beef product.
Some of my duties as the Industry Information Intern included meeting with and writing articles featuring producers, industry leaders, and even restaurant chefs. On a day-to-day basis I was also assigned videos and transcriptions that had to be condensed down to 3-minute excerpts to be featured as “Angus VNRs” or video news releases that were later featured during “The Angus Report.” I was also allowed the opportunity to record and serve as the voiceover for some of these VNRs. Other duties included, but were not limited to, constructing news releases for various events, transcribing interviews, writing blog entries, and updating social media sites.
Throughout the duration of my time spent with CAB I not only learned many things about myself as a writer but I gained a better understanding of the value-added beef industry and learned what it was like to be a full-time employee.
Under my supervisor, and Director of the Industry Information Division, Steve Suther, I feel that I was able to advance my writing skills. As an ex-Kansas State instructor and someone who has worked in the industry as a journalist for many years, Mr. Suther’s edits provided me with insights into style and how to make my writing more effective when trying to reach a specific audience. I greatly valued his inputs and have kept all of my articles on file for future reference.
Other things I learned while interning with CAB were how to properly write for video broadcast and how to effectively communicate with producers for the purpose of conducting an efficient interview. It is important when constructing a video script to first captivate audience members then provide information between excerpts as succinctly as possible. It is also important that excerpts flow and when put together make sense. In regard to interviewing producers, I learned that it is crucial to prepare ahead of time. Familiarizing yourself with a producers operation helps when devising effective questions, it also shows he or she that you care about their business. In many cases they are more open to sharing information with you and are more comfortable around you as an interviewer if you have done your research first. Credibility is essential as a writer.
Upon completion of my internship experience I was able to discern between what I excelled in and what I didn’t care for as much. I feel as though I learned a lot about who I am as a person and what kind of career path I’ll be pursuing in the future.
Areas that I enjoyed in particular were the broadcasting and social media components of the internship. When searching for a job in the future, these two areas are ones that I can list as being comfortable with and proficient in. I also enjoyed traveling and visiting with cattle producers. Getting to interact with people that are passionate about the industry is another component I will look for when deciding upon a career.