When Lindsay Hamer started her communications internship at the Texas Peanut Producers Board, she thought she had a good understanding of what her day-to-day responsibilities would be: writing press releases, making social media posts, and answering phones. But as she climbed into the 8-foot tall Tex P. Nut mascot uniform, she started to wonder what she had gotten herself into.
Junior agricultural communications major Lindsay Hamer accepted the position of Texas Peanut Producers Board intern last April after being recommended by Cindy Akers, Ph.D., associate dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
“I was recommended by Dr. Akers which was very scary,” Hamer said. “I’m seeing an email from Dr. Akers that just says ‘Lindsay’ on it and I thought, ‘Oh gosh, I’m getting expelled.”
Rather than being expelled, Hamer ended up with a recommendation for a job. Dr. Akers told Hamer her personality matched that of those currently working at TPPB and she would be a great fit for the job.
After applying and interviewing for the position, TPPB wasted no time letting Hamer know she was the top candidate for the job.
“I think one day went by, and Hallie texted me and said I needed to come back,” Hamer said. “I started my first office job and got to take the reins of that position.”
One of the best aspects of the internship is being able to express herself creatively through graphic design, writing and pitching project ideas.
“The nice thing about working for a small commodity group is that you have a lot of free reign to use your own creativity and then they are there for support and back up,” Hamer said. “Hallie and Shelly have been incredible mentors and role models. They have helped me feel more confident in my ideas in my design and everything along the way.”
Hamer said her experience at TPPB has made her career goals clear.
“Before I started here, I was interested in graphic design and kind of that whole aspect of designing things and layouts,” Hamer said. “Now that I’ve had experience with that, I think it’s kind of still the track I’m going. I like marketing and PR campaigns and every job that I’ve had here has been an overview of pretty much every communications aspect that I’ve learned at Tech so far.”
Hamer appreciates the opportunity to work at a wonderful place with wonderful people, like her boss, Shelly Nutt.
TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt has nothing but high praise for Hamer.
“She’s coming up with new programs,” Nutt said. “She comes in one day and she was like, ‘For March, I kind of think I want to do this recipe campaign,’ and it’s this major intense recipe development program that she wants to do through social media. And I’m thinking and I don’t know how you’re going to do that, but get after it.”
Hamer’s dedication to being creative and switching up the norm is one of her most valuable qualities, Nutt said.
“Lindsay did our weather channel baskets for us,” Nutt said. “That is a 100 percent intern project. Every single intern has to do this project for me. We have a whole book of instructions on how it’s got to be done so that it’s done the same way every year. Lindsay came in and was like, ‘I don’t know why we’re doing it this way because this is really not efficient,’ and I said, ‘We’ve always done it that way, but you’re also 100 percent right. It’s not efficient anymore. It was efficient 10 years ago.’”
The meteorologist baskets sent out are a TPPB initiative to gain publicity for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. Since the beginning of the promotion, TPPB has asked meteorologists from local TV networks across the state that if they will feature it on their channel, to upload the video, download it onto a USB and mail it back to the TPPB.
Hamer suggested the channels tweet the video so it would be instantly accessible to their audience.
“Of course, we got a whole lot more response,” Nutt said. “She’s innovative and thinking through what we’ve done and how she can make it better. She does everything around here and she just does it well.”
Nutt said one of the best qualities an intern candidate can have is to be bold.
“I love bold personalities,” Nutt said. “The people that can come into my office like Lindsay does and say, ‘Guess what I thought up? I want to do this!’ I love that.”
I could not have asked for a better internship.
Past Intern Experiences
Former TPPB intern and agricultural communications alumnae Adeline Fox now works at the Texas Water Conservation Association as the communications director. Fox said her time as a TPPB intern was extremely valuable to her professional development.
“Working with Texas Peanut Producers Board was a superb experience,” Fox said. “It was the first real communications job I had in college. TPPB staff members really wanted to share their knowledge and prepare me for future jobs. They provided me with many opportunities to work on challenging and fun projects.”
Fox’s favorite part about her time at TPPB was her opportunity to lead the Texas Peanut Leadership tour which brings in farmers from across the Southwest to Lubbock.
Although the internship is competitive, Fox encourages those who like a challenge, want to learn, and want to grow to apply.
“I would recommend the Texas Peanut Producers Board internship to anyone looking for a challenging and rewarding experience,” Fox said. “The staff and work assignments will prepare any student who is looking to work in the agricultural communications field after college.”
Gaining invaluable skills like graphic design, project planning, and writing have helped Fox in every job she has had since her TPPB internship.
“Working with Texas Peanut Producers Board provided me with great experience and work samples that helped me get my first job,” Fox said. “By the time I stepped into the world after college, I already had the mindset of an adult because of the responsibilities of my internship required. I could not have asked for a better internship.”