Tomorrow’s Ag Leaders are Starting as Interns
By Shannon Gerli, Manager Human Resources (O+B | P)
At O+B | P we’re Champions of the Rural Spirit. The O+B | P brand and many of its people were born out of America’s farmland and rural communities. We deliver comprehensive solutions for brands seeking to connect with rural ideals with both rural and general market communities in ways that are genuine and purposefully innovative — while driving measurable, data-driven results and a lasting impact. Which is why we don’t just hire thinkers — we recruit those that prioritize helping foster authentic connections for brands and consumers in rural America.
For over 30 years, O+B | P has been investing in the future talent to the industries we serve. Our annual Summer Internship Program has received high marks from previous graduates for enhancing student’s market value through hands-on experience. Our program aims to provide a better understanding of the advertising, marketing, and communications industry and develop valuable career contacts.
The O+B | P internship program had started with just a few students in the beginning to a now robust, 10-week structured program that invites over a dozen young professionals across all three branches. Our program prioritizes real-life experience by hiring interns to be on our client teams within their respective discipline as well as assigns a summer-long internship project that they apply their learnings and service their own client(s).
Over the years, we have recruited some of our brightest candidates through agriculture programs offered across the United States. Some of these colleges and universities include:
- Vanderbilt University — 2 agricultural programs
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville — 28 agricultural programs
- Lipscomb University — 5 agricultural programs
- Middle Tennessee State University — 5 agricultural programs
- University of Missouri — 16 agricultural program
- Missouri State University — 11 agricultural programs
- Northwest Missouri State University — 10 agricultural programs
- Truman State University — 2 agricultural programs
- College of the Ozarks — 10 agricultural programs
- Southeast Missouri State University — 6 agricultural programs
Currently, we have nine employees who started their careers with O+B | P as an intern and have been hired on as full-time employees. Some include Laura Wolf, Account Manager, Kyndall Smith, Associate Art Director, and Erin Boedeker, PR & Content Manager.
“I was introduced to O+B | P through an industry study with my alma mater, Missouri State University, and fell in love with O+B | P’s mission and its collaborative atmosphere. After graduation, I was excited to start my career in ag communications with an internship at O+B | P in St. Louis. Not only did that 10-week experience solidify my passion for serving farmers through marketing and PR, but it also connected me to a network of outstanding people who have gone on to be leaders in agriculture and beyond. Just in my intern class, we have ag educators, public relations experts at ag companies, designers and copywriters at other top-notch agencies — not to mention a couple of proud full-time employees at O+B | P.” — Laura Wolf
“My time spent being an O+B | P intern is something I will never forget. In that 10-week period, I meet new people from different walks of life and created new friendships. I learned how to work as a team in order to solve problems, and was even a part of creating something that is out in the world proudly living and breathing till this day. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to intern.” — Kyndall Smith
“Looking back at my time as an intern at O+B | P, one word comes to mind — valuable. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to stay on with the organization full-time after my internship but I know the hands-on, real-life experience I received would have been a value to me, no matter where I landed. I am so thankful I get to fulfill both my passions of PR and agriculture at O+B | P. I highly recommend our internship program for any young professional/student.” — Erin Boedeker
Careers in agriculture can be very rewarding and you may be working in some wonderful and beautiful environments…the outdoors! A career in agriculture could lead you down the path to be a Farm Manager, Agricultural Consultant, Fish Farm Manager, Rural Practice Surveyor, Plant Breeder/Geneticist, Florist, Sommelier, and Soil Scientist just to name a few.
As Champions of the Rural Spirit, we love to advocate for careers in agriculture and have found that we can do so by way of our internship program. If you’re majoring in marketing, communications, journalism, graphic arts, PR, journalism, advertising, or agriculture with strong academic performance, and would like to experience a career in advertising we encourage you to look into our opening intern positions for this coming summer.