Internship Spotlight: DTN/The Progressive Farmer

By: Emily Dehn, U of M Student

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work as a Social Media Intern for a company called DTN/The Progressive Farmer, or “DTN” for short. DTN is a multi-faceted company — something I learned quickly in my first few days on the job! DTN has four main “silos” in the organization: Agriculture, Weather, Commodities, and Refined Fuels. I spent my internship working in the ag division, where DTN provides services and insights to two groups, producers and agribusinesses. Since I worked on the social media side, my summer was spent focusing on producers.

During my three months with DTN, I was able to accomplish a variety of tasks. The main goal of my internship was to deepen my knowledge of the agricultural industry while simultaneously broadening my experience with communications in the professional world. When my internship was in full swing, I was in charge of reading the content published by our newsroom, summarizing articles, finding graphics, creating posts (for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), and scheduling the content to be posted. I also completed several large scale projects including a social media competitive analysis, a business case for Instagram, and a trends calendar. I was also lucky enough to travel for my internship, both to the company office in Omaha and to FarmFest 2017. My experience this past summer exceeded my expectations tenfold.

The most beneficial thing I gained this summer through my work at DTN was professional experience. I learned first-hand what it’s like to work in a corporate setting. I presented to company executives, attended meetings, went on business trips, and so much more. I was able to reinforce my belief that I am a skilled communicator, and I learned that one area I can improve on is prioritizing my work from day to day. This summer was stressful at times, but it also was very encouraging. Through my professional experience in the field, I now know that I truly do want to continue to study Agricultural Communication & Marketing. Not to mention, getting paid to do something you love is pretty cool!

Looking back, if there’s one piece of advice I’d give to those who haven’t completed an internship yet, it’s the following: APPLY, APPLY, APPLY, and be open to whatever comes your way! Early in my sophomore year at the U, I had my heart set on a particular internship. I advanced through the interview process, but didn’t end up getting the job. I was feeling deflated; however, I received an email from my advisor late in the spring semester about a position with DTN — a position I would end up securing in May. It was a great learning experience for me. Keep your eyes open, your head up, and always be open to try new things!