Fresh and Seasoned: Famous Interns Get Their First Taste of Fresh Produce
Each summer, three students interested in client service, copywriting, and graphic design are paid full-time to run Famous, an agency of interns within Fresh Produce. In 2021, designer Alex Duncan of the Kansas City Art Institute, writer Shawn Kuhnel, and account executive Jeannie Jedlicka, both from the University of South Dakota, spent their summer working with ten different clients on a diverse line up of projects.
Now that you’re “closing the bow” on all your projects, let’s take a minute to reflect on the experience. Overall, what did you think of being a Famous intern and working at Fresh Produce?
Alex: Delightful. Everybody is very receptive, accepting, and a little weird in a good way. The projects were diverse, challenging, and rewarding.
Jeannie: I wouldn’t be surprised if they started selling fruit at some point.
Shawn: It’s kind of hard to think about it all as one overall experience, if that makes sense. There were so many different things going on at once, but it never once felt like we were “just the interns.” We were a part of every step in the process and seeing what we were able to put together was very rewarding.
You had the chance to work with ten clients this year on a diverse lineup of projects, including web design, branding, events, PR, and some architecture. Which do you think was your favorite project?
A: The Fairburn Building [which was in partnership with Friends & Citizens, the internship program at Co-op Architecture in Sioux Falls]. It was the most conceptual project I’ve ever done, and the fact that it has a chance of becoming a reality makes it awesome, too. Designing an entire bespoke alphabet out of a gemstone was super cool, and seeing a building being designed based on artwork I came up with was insane. It really helped me see that, in the future, I could work with architects and come up with something that I could explain to them.
S: I agree with Alex, but mostly because it ended up being a personal project for me. After finding out that this building could potentially be constructed in Rapid City, where I was born, and that they wanted to name the center around a gold rush theme, my background with my father owning a store that sells gems and minerals really made coming up with the name Fairburn a memorable experience. Seeing the work Alex did and coming up with an entire design system surrounding that was incredible. I feel like the next step is to get the Fairburn logo tattooed on me now.
J: I really enjoyed the Remote Work Ready (now called PorchLight) branding project because I built a personal relationship with Jessica Meyers, the Co-Founder of Remote Work Ready. We’re on texting terms at this point and having that relationship with a client was really gratifying. I built the same relationship with Bob Christenson (of Badger Clark Publishing) while we were working on the Badger Clark Map project. Knowing I could run upstairs when I needed input from him, or sit in his office and listen to his stories made that experience more worthwhile. It made it feel a lot less like we were doing marketing.
What was one thing that stood out to you about working as part of the Famous team?
A: Working with a copywriter. I was just talking about this with my girlfriend, and I told her about this being my first time working with someone who focuses on copy. It was interesting to see Shawn come up with a name or some copy, and how that sparked something in the design. My professor Adam, who recommended the internship to me, asked if I knew anything about the copywriter I was working with because their role makes the design process more efficient. They come up with an idea or together we bounce ideas off one another and we see where to take it from there.
J: It was a thorough system, and it was made clear that communication would be the key to a successful project. I think we described what we needed from one another in a respectful and understanding manner that led to overall efficiency. Especially with South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s CHEERS! project. When we got that project, we only had five days to pull together a concept to pitch. The way we worked together to come up with the idea, even if we had to sweat a little because we forgot to bring the presentation with us, was totally worth it.
Those are valuable experiences to have, especially when you’re working with a lot of clients at one time. What are some challenges you had to face as you progressed through each project?
S: Working with Poetry Out Loud was challenging because of the target audiences we were trying to reach. Poetry Out Loud is a program for high school students implemented by teachers, so we had to figure out how to market to both high school students AND teachers at the same time. It was challenging trying to find that mix, but when it all came together we had a plethora of things for both targets that we felt communicated the idea behind the program well. It was also challenging for me because I’d never done a PR campaign before, so it was fun stretching my wings to see what I was capable of.
J: Making sure to stay diligent with all projects, especially because of their differing timelines. Some projects, like SDPB, had quick turnaround times and needed constant attention from start to finish, while others dwindled on throughout the internship.
A: These were some of the tightest deadlines I’ve ever dealt with. Doing that much creative work all at once, like dealing with five projects in one day, made it an interesting challenge to bounce back and forth from different mindsets.
There’s a lot more than meets the eye when working in a marketing agency. What are some learning opportunities you had as you operated Famous?
J: I learned what it truly means to be in account service, and that’ll be super helpful for the upcoming years of my life when I have to figure out what I want to do when I get out of college.
A: Making sure to set realistic goals and making big steps every day to meet those goals. That way I’m not scrambling when we get closer to a deadline. That’s something that use to happen in school with a lot of people, me included, where you think you’re doing a lot until you actually get to the night before a project is due and you’re not as far along as you thought.
What are some takeaways you’ll carry with you after the internship?
J: As I head into my junior year of college, I’ve learned so much about how the real-world works. Now I get to go back to school, take my experiences here, and see what else I can discover.
A: Letting the experience make me work more efficiently. I think it’s more of learning how to push myself to only work on something for a certain amount of time and move onto the next thing. Because sometimes I can work on a project for hours and nit-pick every little thing, but you don’t always have that kind of time.
S: It was eye opening to see everything that a copywriter does. When I got this internship, I didn’t think I’d be coming up with names of buildings or brands, and I think it’s been helpful to see that there’s a lot of other things to do within a marketing agency. It’s good to know there are options for me out there if I ever decide marketing isn’t for me.
See the full case study of all the work done by Alex, Jeannie, and Shawn this summer: pickfresh.com/study/famous-2021
Fresh Produce is accepting applications for Famous 2022 from December 3, 2021 to February 4, 2022. Visit famousinternship.com to start your application!