Hannah Thompson Weeman is a two time graduate of our department. She came to Ohio State from the state of Maryland and completed both her bachelors in agricultural communication and masters in agricultural and extension education. She now serves as vice-president for communications for the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Arlington, Virginia.
[ACEL]: Hi Hannah! You studied agricultural communication at Ohio State. Why did you selected that major?
[Thompson-Weeman]: I chose to study agricultural communication because it allowed me to combine my skills and interest in strategic planning, public speaking and writing with my passion for agriculture. Competing in the agricultural communications CDE in FFA solidified this career path as the one I wanted to pursue.
Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Growing up in Maryland, Ohio State really wasn’t on my radar until I was contacted by Bonnie Ayars, the dairy extension specialist who leads the dairy judging program. I had judged dairy cattle in 4-H and FFA and planned to do so in college, so hearing from Bonnie caught my interest and she arranged for me to come out for a visit. Ultimately, I chose to attend Ohio State in large part because of its agricultural communication program, but also because of Ohio’s strong dairy industry.
How has your education at Ohio State influence your career path?
The skills I learned as a student at Ohio State allowed me to earn several excellent internships with exposed me to various potential career paths in agricultural communication. These internships helped me to determine what path I wanted to pursue later on.
What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I competed on the dairy judging team and was also an active member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Alpha Zeta Partners, Buckeye Dairy Club and Scarlet and Gray Ag Day Planning Committee.
What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
My favorite classes were ones where we were able to complete real-life projects, which we were able to do frequently in our agricultural communication program. During our publication design and production class, we produced The AgriNaturalist from start to finish, including selling ad space, designing ads and layouts and writing content. In our campaign design class, our group worked with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop a promotional campaign for a new initiative. I use all of these creative thinking and project management skills daily as a professional!
What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
One of my favorite memories is from our ACT chapter hosting the National ACT Professional Development Conference during my senior year. It was exciting to see our chapter come together to plan the event, which was a great success.
What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
After graduating with my B.S., I immediately moved into a graduate program. I earned my M.S. in agricultural and extension education in December 2012. My first full-time position was as a marketing specialist at Farm Credit Mid-America in Louisville, KY.
For what schools, companies and/or organizations have you worked throughout your career?
After two great years at Farm Credit, I began working for the Animal Agriculture Alliance in Arlington, VA in December 2014, first as director of communications and now as vice president of communications.
What advice would you give to a current student?
Do as many internships as possible! It is never too early to start trying out different jobs and seeing what you may want to do in the future. The connections you will gain will be extremely valuable when you start your job search. Don’t forget that any internship is a long-term job interview – always put your best foot forward.
What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
As an out-of-state student, I did not have any friends or connections in Ohio before starting at OSU. The welcoming atmosphere of the ACEL department and the involvement of alumni and professionals in our classes and club activities allowed me to cultivate a network of friends and professional contacts that I continue to lean on today.