Look East Interns Share Learnings from their Summer

This summer, Look East hosted three interns, Jamie Brond, Topanga McBride and Antone Christianson-Galena. Jamie is studying public relations and will be a senior this fall at Kansas State University. Topanga will be a junior at Kansas State University with a dual major in agricultural communications and agricultural economics. Antone will begin working on a Master’s in social and public communication at the London School of Economics.

Topanga McBride

Topanga Headshot

Going into my first internship was a little daunting. I had never spent much time in Kansas City, it would be my first time truly living on my own and it would be my first experience in an office setting. The Look East team welcomed my co-intern Jamie and me with open arms and I have gained great insight from their experiences and advice. Our manager Mark Crouser kept us busy with projects and I am walking away with a great portfolio, filled with variety and impactful work.

There are a few key lessons I have taken away from my summer at Look East. The work environment is very important. Even if you love your job, you still need to feel comfortable in the office. Look East represents the type of environment I want to work in. In addition, don’t be afraid to step up to the plate. When opportunity knocks, answer, and do so with enthusiasm. I learned that this internship was what I made of it, and so it was up to me to make sure I had the kinds of experiences I desired. Also, I learned plenty about values. Look East and the Center for Food Integrity focus on values-based communication and I have been able to apply that in both my agvocacy (including #AgChat, my Tumblr blog and my articles on Spoon University) and my daily life. By identifying shared values I have been able to strengthen my relationships with others, communicate the messages I want to share and improved the understanding of my audiences.

My time at Look East may be done, but the experiences and relationships I forged will stay with me. Thanks Look East for a fantastic summer!

 Jamie Brond


My time at Look East has taught me a lot about working in a public relations agency, more about agriculture and the food system, and growing in a workplace. At the beginning of the summer, I was intimidated by the agency setting and my overall lack of knowledge about the food system and agriculture. However, Topanga and I were warmly welcomed into the Look East family and my concerns immediately diminished.

This summer has taught me more than I could ever learn in a classroom. I learned that passion will carry you far in life, both professionally and personally. By working in the office, I learned that communication is key in this profession. It is so important to be transparent in what you are doing, when communicating with clients and co-workers, as well. Most importantly, I learned that you have to be willing to put yourself out there and get to know the people you work with. When you take the time to know who and what you’re working for, it makes the work meaningful.

I cannot believe my time at Look East is about to come to a close – I’m a little sensitive about these sorts of things, as I enter my senior year. I am so thankful that I got to learn from people who are passionate about what they do. I know I will carry what I learned this summer through my professional career. Thanks for helping me prepare for my future and teaching me some big things along the way, Look East!


Antone Christianson-Galena


Antone completed a six-week internship with Look East focused on researching social license, networking and communications. He will begin a master’s in social and public communication at the London School of Economics this fall. He is currently using machine augmented intelligence to look at how ideas spread across networks.

“I became fascinated by public relations while studying international relations and realizing how much decision-making boils down to perception. I’m having fun learning about how our cognition and opinions are shaped by perception and how shaping perception, we can change how we think.”

His research includes using neuroscience to understand how ideas spread; formulating the cost to businesses and industry sectors of losing the social license and how perceptions of business and social license have shifted over time.