We may come from different backgrounds or have plans of going opposite directions, but we come together in the Agriculture Communications program. This post is all about giving incoming, current and former Purdue Ag. Comm. students (and anyone interested) a chance to meet some else in the program.
Amanda Gee, of North Vernon, Ind., completed her undergrad as an Ag. Comm. major in December 2013. Get Amanda’s perspective on Purdue’s Ag. Comm. program in this short Q&A interview:
Q&A with Amanda Gee
- What made you decide to major in Agricultural Communications?
“I took kind of a circuitous route to Ag. Comm. I’ve always had eclectic interests, and as a high school senior I applied to five colleges with five different majors. I started out at Purdue in Pre-Pharmacy. After deciding that wasn’t my cup of tea, I checked out a number of majors. Then I met with an advisor and some AgComma’s who are now alumni. They convinced me to join with their passions for agriculture and the program. My Ag. Comm. journey began my sophomore year, and I never looked back.”
- What was your favorite part about the Ag. Comm. program?
“The sense of community. The program is small compared to most others on campus, but it’s like a tight-knit family. I met people in my first Ag. Comm. class who not only helped me in future classes and told me about a internship opportunity I’d love, but who also became some of my best friends.”
- What was your favorite class at Purdue?
Hard choice! I would say Intro to PR, Wine Appreciation, Problems in PR, Horses in Europe study abroad, and Intro to New Media all rank at the top of my list. But, I’m going to go with ANSC393: Animal Industry Travel Course that I took last year for my Animal Sciences minor. We toured farms and agribusinesses across the Midwest over Spring Break (read more here), and then came back and gave a presentation about it. It was a great opportunity, and not one that I’ll soon forget. Coming from a family beef farm in southeastern Indiana still didn’t quite prepare me for the sight of 72,000 head of cattle at a feedlot in Nebraska. And, some of the pics I took along the way sparked discussion of modern ag on my Facebook page, à la Ag. Comm. in action.”
- What was your favorite club or activity?
“Big surprise…Ag Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). It’s a professional club for Ag. Comm. students. I got to network with Ag. Comm. professionals and students, and hone my writing skills through some club projects. I’m not a big talker (funny that I’m in Ag. Comm. then, I know), but I was able to strengthen my writing and work on those presentational skills and get feedback on both. ”
- How did the Ag. Comm. program prepare you for a future career?
“I learned how to be a better writer, communicator and critical thinker. I’ve always loved to write, but now I can confidently say that whether I need to create a press release, media plan, blog, hard news story, feature/profile, Facebook post, short video, photo collage, etc…I can do it, and do it well. The program also taught me about opportunities; if there isn’t one readily available that fits you, find or create one and go for it. All of my internships started with cold-calling because I was interested in learning from those people. And luckily, I got paid for them too!”
- Where are you now?
“I’m pursuing my Master’s here at Purdue in Youth Development and Agricultural Education, with a concentration in Ag. Comm. I haven’t decided exactly what the focus of my research will be, but I want it to be something about engaging and involving audience members with a message. This summer, I’m traveling to Romania to help with a class, do research for my professor, and work on co-construction of stories with locals. After I graduate in a couple years, I’d like to be a communication/PR director of an agribusiness or even work with an international non-profit.”