With our Famous (formerly, Famous For Meats) internship applications open, we sat down with a few of our full-time crew members (who were past interns at Fresh Produce) and asked them about their intern experience.
Famous For Meats: 2009
Current Role: Writer / Producer (since 2011)
Famous For Meats: 2015
Current Role: Designer (since 2015)
Famous For Meats: 2014
Current Role: Project Manager (since 2017)
Famous For Meats: 2016
Current Role: Designer (since 2017)
How did you end up applying for Famous For Meats (now, Famous), and eventually working full-time for Fresh Produce?
Kyle Jameson: During the fall 2007 semester at South Dakota State University, Ted taught my introductory Advertising Principals class. Our interests and perspectives aligned, so I asked him if I could intern at Fresh Produce the following summer. Unfortunately, Fresh Produce didn’t have an internship yet, but he told me they were working on launching something the following summer. So instead of spending my summer some place that didn’t interest me, I made the decision to take him on his word and wait. When they introduced Famous for Meats the next year, I went all in on my application and interview to make sure I got the internship I wanted and to make sure I secured the last credit I needed to graduate.
After a successful pilot year of the Famous For Meats program, there wasn’t a position available, so I returned to SDSU for two years to work as an Admissions Counselor. Meanwhile, I stayed plugged into Fresh Produce, attended Ipso Gallery openings, and stopped by the shop when I was in town. Late in 2010, Mike and Ted approached me to handle some freelance projects, so I started writing in my free time in early 2011. In April 2011, Mike asked if I wanted to move from freelance to full-time. I finished my short, albeit fun career in admissions on a Friday and started writing for Fresh Produce the following Monday.
Erin Murtha: I applied for the internship after discovering Fresh Produce through the Rock Garden Tour radio show, and kept in contact with the crew after the internship ended. I started working full-time when a spot opened up on the team in mid-2017, and the rest is history.
“I remember the night before I was working so hard to polish my portfolio that I had overlooked the spelling of “designer” on my resume…”
Kelsey Benson: I remember finding a “Come on in, make yourself uncomfortable” card in Grove Hall, and it sparked my interest in Fresh Produce. I knew Hunter Murphy and Marc Wagner through mutual friends and admired their work. Seeing that they worked at Fresh Produce made me more open to an agency setting. It was the only internship I applied to during my senior year, and everything fell into place after that.
Hanna Peterson: I took Drawing 1 my freshman year with Peter Reichardt and he brought up Fresh Produce during a class. I went back to my dorm, googled it and was like “I want to work here.” I met Ted and Kyle my junior year at a career fair/portfolio review. I remember the night before I was working so hard to polish my portfolio that I had overlooked the spelling of “designer” on my resume. I think I spelled it something like “desginer.” Nevertheless, they still hired me as an intern, and then shortly after graduation I started full time.
Can you tell us a little about your internship experience?
Kelsey: I was ecstatic, and kind of confused when they offered me the job because I thought the interview went horribly. I basically had zero self-esteem and struggled with social anxiety at the time, but everyone was really supportive and nice. So, I quickly warmed up to the environment. The clients we worked with were really laid back and the projects were a lot of fun.
Kyle: Andrew Osborn, Tiffany Menke, and I were the pilot Famous for Meats crew. We were paid for 20 hours a week. Tiffany had another job and a family, but Andrew and I hadn’t booked anything else to take up our time. Instead, we spent 40 hours a week at the office like everyone else on the crew. While we had real, paying clients like every internship crew that followed us, we didn’t have as much work as interns to come. We filled our time creating the first Famous for Meats social media accounts (Twitter was the hot new thing at the time) and a blog that we filled with nonsense. Nonsense that at least allowed us to practice designing, writing, and video editing. Throughout the summer we created a collateral piece for Click Rain – which only had four employees at the time – that they used for a number of years to follow. We also designed print ads and postcards for Envive, Fresh Ideas for J. Bremer Photography, and concepted and named the August Ipso Gallery show.
“While we stay true to our original ideals, we’re not afraid to adapt to make our business better. I never expect one year to be the same as the years past.”
You’ve been at Fresh Produce for a bit now, what’s made it special and why have you stuck around?
Hanna: The people I work with and the work we are doing, both make me feel challenged and energized everyday. We also practice setting goals and journal progress in our Energy Positive Workbooks [Sidenote: We’ll have a separate blogpost about this one.]. That practice has been pretty special and a great tool to measure growth in a lot of areas of my life.
Kelsey: There’s not an expectation to fit a mold. Everybody here is a weirdo in their own way, and getting to know that side of everyone has been a #blast.
Kyle: The reason I interned at Fresh Produce and jumped at the offer to come back is because of the unique opportunity to build something special. From the start, many of us had next-to-no agency experience, meaning we operated from our instincts and with genuine interest in doing something different. While we’ve learned a lot along the way and since hired people with previous advertising experience, I think that genuine desire to help our clients stand out, do interesting work, and push ourselves to stay uncomfortable make working at Fresh Produce rewarding and unique.
Erin: Many things make Fresh Produce special, so it’s really hard to pick one thing. I absolutely love the emphasis and importance of art and ideas. I love the connection to the community and that we’re always striving to do our biggest and best projects. We leave no stone unturned and sometimes the most outrageous ideas become the biggest successes.
What’s the one thing that has really stuck with you about working at Fresh Produce?
Kyle: While we stay true to our original ideals, we’re not afraid to adapt to make our business better. I never expect one year to be the same as the years past. A few years ago, I never expected I’d have more than a week away from work at a time, but then we announced a four-week sabbatical program for employees with five years experience on the team. Sixteen months later I wound up in Spain for a whole month. Who knows what other surprises are on the horizon?
Kelsey: The women. The fact that I get to work with so many smart and talented women is really special, and not common in most workplaces. There are only 14 people at Fresh Produce, and 10 of them are female.
Hanna: It wasn’t until I had an internship experience at another agency that I realized how much creative input I, as a designer, get to have in every step in the creative process. It’s never the case that I’m told to make something that someone else has thought up. There is a lot of collaboration and research that goes into every project no matter the size and I love being a part of the process.
“I think [the internship] gave me more self-assurance in my ideas and work. I feel more comfortable articulating my ideas and defending my work…”
Do you think Famous had a role in shaping what you do / how you work today? How?
Erin: Having the internship experience was really important for me as it helped to guide me in a different and unexpected direction. I loved being part of the little team within the agency and getting to really know the environment, and it gave me a different aspect of working with a team than what I had been used to in the past.
Kelsey: I think it gave me more self-assurance in my ideas and work. I feel more comfortable articulating my ideas and defending my work, exhausting as it may be at times.
Kyle: I certainly think my experience serving as both an account service rep and writer prepared me to meet with clients and pitch ideas. I was presenting ideas to clients my first summer on the job as a writer. Learning to be adaptable and to take advantage of open opportunities also led me to taking over our producer role a number of years ago, as well.
Hanna: As an intern, I remember being frustrated by not having an exact method to how I approach an assignment. But as I’ve got older I’ve realized that this is actually a really good thing! Once you establish a routine in your work is when things get boring and the work begins to feel same. Fresh Produce has always encouraged this kind thinking and has helped me uncover those realizations through my internship and full-time work.
Fresh Produce has been lucky to have smart and talented interns over the last decade, and we’re grateful that they chose to apply for an internship with us. Thank you to all 32 of our past Famous interns, and a Hi-Five to those who’ve been full-time with us over the years: Ashley Bott, Hannah Kuelbs, Caitlin Pisha, Rachel Gerber, Kat Burdine, and Andrew Osborn.