Look East welcomes two interns this summer. Jamie Brond attends Kansas State University and will be a senior in public relations this fall. Topanga McBride is a junior at Kansas State University dual majoring in agricultural communications and agricultural economics.
Tell us about your background and how it influenced your career choice.
Jamie: “I became interested in pursuing a degree in public relations in 2008 when Lance Armstrong was still the spokesperson for the Livestrong Foundation and the scandal about him took place. I became fascinated by the individuals who were working hard behind the scenes to maintain the positive image of the Foundation and continue to convey their mission.”
Topanga: “I grew up just outside Fort Collins, Colo., where I raised milking shorthorns for 4-H. I didn’t think I wanted a future in agriculture, but in high school I realized my peers and teachers didn’t understand where their food came from. I found myself giving lessons and engaging in conversations about agriculture and food. This passion led me to ag communications.”
What do you hope to learn this summer at Look East?
Jamie: “I look forward to gaining more knowledge in agriculture and working with the staff to see what goes on behind the scenes at a public relations agency. I also hope to gain a better understanding of how to put together client presentations and continue to improve my design and writing skills.”
Topanga: “I am very excited to learn about the strategy that goes into public relations, especially when the conversation occurs between consumers and the agriculture industry.”
What are your plans or goals beyond this summer?
Jamie: “Since I graduate next spring, I hope to have a job in a public relations agency in the future and will definitely use all of these skills there. My goal is to start at the agency level and eventually work for a non-profit organization such as Donate Life America or the National Kidney Foundation.”
Topanga: “My end goal is to be in a position where I am helping connect consumers to their food. I’m not totally sure where the place is for me yet. It may be in a business or organization, it may be in an agency, it may be on the ag side, it may be on the food side. Who knows, I might be working with Food Network some day.”
What foods are you looking forward to trying while you’re in Kansas City?
Jamie: “I think I am a pizza connoisseur, so I’m really looking forward to trying Minsky’s since I’ve heard so much about it.”
Topanga: “All of it! The style of food from Colorado to Kansas City is very different. I am especially excited to dig into some good barbecue.”