Let’s Hear It for the Girls: Meet Brandi Buzzard Frobose!

For as big as the world is, it’s always funny to me when you realize that it’s actually really small at the same time. I definitely had one of those “small world” moments when I met this week’s “Let’s Hear It for the Girls” guest. Brandi and I met through #agchat (a Twitter conversation for people involved in agriculture) but we have only met in real life a couple of times. Despite that, within a short time of knowing her, I learned that I already knew her boyfriend (now husband) from my internship with the National Swine Registry. Yup – small world.

Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to learn more about Brandi and one thing no one can deny is that this girl lives her passions day in and day out. I hope you enjoy learning more!

Background

Current location:
Manhattan, KS

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Brandi Buzzard Frobose is passionate about a lot of things (including rooting for K-State!). She definitely puts her passion for the cattle industry to work in her role with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Originally from:
Colony, KS

Education (college/major):
B.S. – Dual major: Animal Sciences and Industry/Agricultural Economics – Kansas State University
M.S. – Animal Science; Behavior, Well-Being and Health – Kansas State University

Job title and company:
Manager, Issues Communication – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

Brief description of NCBA:
We represent the American beef producer and work diligently to promote and maintain  consumer confidence in beef.

Where were you before NCBA?
Kansas State University/Beef Cattle Institute

How did you become interested in working in the cattle industry?
As long as I can remember I’ve been interested in animal science. During my first year of graduate school, my passion for talking to people about animal science elevated to new levels and that started my journey to where I am today.

Around the Office

Office culture in a few words:
Extremely laid-back; but my office mates, Rooster and Cricket, keep me company and  drive me crazy all at the same time.

A day at work looks like:
A normal day contains one or more of the following: checking major news outlets for hot button issues, coordinating appropriate responses to issues with our team, writing  content for any one of a number of projects, researching issues or events, editing and a  smidge of social media.

Favorite part of your job:
I am privileged to represent America’s beef producers AND I get to do something  different every day!

Biggest challenge you face at your job:
Being a remote employee makes it difficult to pull away from the computer. At the end of  the day, I sometimes forget to unplug and ‘go home.’

Apps (or other tech) you can’t live without:
Actually, I could pretty easily live without social media and the internet! I could absolutely not live without my iPod, though (although I did own a Discman back in the day).

Style

Your personal style in a few words:
Purple. Laid back.

Office dress code:
I work from home so I can either be found in jeans and a K-State t-shirt or running shorts and, you guessed it, a K-State t-shirt.

Go-to work outfit:
When I am going to be in the Denver or D.C. office or if I’m going on a work trip, I’m  almost always wearing a bright blazer, khakis and square toed boots.

On-the-go kit:
Right now my purse contains my wallet, check book, three tubes of Chap Stick, bobby  pins, a coozie, a lint roller, pens, a notepad and my sunnies.

Next splurge item you’re planning for:
A saddle for my barrel horse

Lifestyle

Morning routine:
Brush teeth, grab a banana and make the long commute to my office down the hall.

Favorite spot for brunch:
Early Edition – Manhattan, KS

On Saturday, you can be found:
Outside!

Favorite spot for a 10-minute break:
Outside, throwing a ball for the mongrels of the house

Hobbies:
Rodeoing, vehemently cheering for my K-State Wildcats, visiting friends and family,  planning my next globetrotting escapade

When you have a day off, how do you spend it?
Since I work from home, when I take a day off I use it to get out of the house – ride my  horses, go golfing, visit family or friends or go with my husband to a stock show.

At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet – young people who want to be in animal science really only know of one or two jobs in that field and veterinarian is the leading option.

Dream job:
I cannot wait to buy cows and start ranching. If I could stay home, raise cattle and rodeo  that would be perfect.

One thing everyone should do when visiting your city:
Go to a K-State sporting event – we really are a family out here on the plains. The  camaraderie and team spirit is contagious!

Cause you’re passionate about:
Breast cancer – it’s nasty and doesn’t care who it affects. It needs to be fought with more force than what it uses to attack.

Encouraging Other Women

Inspiration:
I draw inspiration from some of my favorite Bible verses: Joshua 1:9, Romans 5:3-5, 2 Timothy 4:7 and Hebrews 12:1.

Best advice you’ve ever received:
“You have to make things happen, you can’t wait for things to pop up on your doorstep”
– my dad

My mentor(s):
Jackie McClaskey, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture
Daren Williams, Sr. Executive Director of Communications – National Cattlemen’s Beef  Association

In 10 years…
My husband and I will have some cattle and farm ground; maybe even a few kids.

Career wisdom for young professional women:
Be kind – work hard – be humble – never, ever, ever give up

Let’s Hear It for the Girls: Meet Robyn Smith!

This week’s “Let’s Hear It for the Girls” post is all about one of my oldest and best friends. Robyn and I grew up in the same town, but didn’t really know each other until we started carpooling to gymnastics practice an hour away from where we lived four days a week. It’s crazy to think where our friendship started on those long car rides to where she is now as a successful physical therapist (I guess now I should start calling her Dr. Robyn!).

Meet one of my best friends, Robyn Smith, who is now a physical therapist near in Grand Haven, MI.

Meet one of my best friends, Robyn Smith, who is a physical therapist near in Grand Haven, MI.

Background

Current location:
Grand Haven, MI

Originally from:
Brown City, MI

Education (college/major):
Hope College, BA in Exercise Science
Grand Valley State University, Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Job title and company:
Physical Therapist, Mercy Health

Brief description of Mercy Health:
Mercy Health is a non-profit hospital that serves the Muskegon and lake shore community.

How did you become interested in physical therapy?
It’s hard to pin-point an occasion or moment that led me on my career path, but I give a lot of credit to my early years in gymnastics and developing an interest in human movement and helping people. I loved learning anatomy and understanding how our bodies functioned to do the incredible tasks we challenge them to do. Slowly it became clear to me a career in physical therapy would be both challenging and rewarding.

Around the Office

Office culture in a few words:
Relaxed, independent, and supportive.

A day at work looks like:
Every day I have the opportunity to work one-on-one with individuals for about 45 minutes each. My day can vary from evaluating them to determine the cause of their impairment or pain to helping them manage their diagnosis. I work with diagnoses varying from back and neck pain to knee surgeries to shoulder injuries. Plus, there’s always the daily pile of paperwork documenting everything I do.

Favorite part of your job:
I love that I get to help people live their life to the fullest and pain-free. It’s rewarding to know that I can make a difference in how someone is able to function.

Biggest challenge you face at your job:
Every day I am faced with individuals I struggle to help and many who continue to live in pain or aren’t responding well to physical therapy. It can be frustrating and disappointing at times.

Apps (or other tech) you can’t live without:
FaceTime, my alarm clock, and the Weather.com app. I also can’t leave home without my watch!

Style

Your personal style in a few words:
Classic? I love to dress up and feel comfortable and confident in what I’m wearing.

Office dress code:
Business casual is the standard at the clinic, but tennis shoes and athletic gear is considered appropriate (gotta be able to move well and demonstrate exercises).

Go-to work outfit:
Black dress pants paired with a cute and comfortable top or cardigan.

On-the-go kit:
Lip gloss, dental floss, cell phone, and wallet.

Lifestyle

Morning routine:
After crawling out of bed I hit start on my coffee pot (prepared the night before), shower, hair/make-up/get dressed (I should start laying out clothes the night before), followed by eating breakfast before grabbing lunch and heading out the door for a short commute to work.

Favorite spot for brunch:
I’ve only lived in Grand Haven for a few months now, but I have to say my favorite is a popular place called “Morningstar Cafe”.

On Saturday, you can be found:
Preferably lounging around my apartment catching up on things or heading out of town to visit family and friends for a weekend.

Favorite spot for a 10-minute break:
At work I don’t spend much time at my desk, so when I have a short break it’s a great place to sit and relax and socialize with co-workers.

Hobbies:
I’m still getting used to this question; it’s so weird to have free-time for hobbies once again! I am trying to get into running/working out more, reading, drinking wine, and cooking dinner.

When you have a day off, how do you spend it?
Days off are usually spent with friends or family.

One thing everyone should do when visiting your city:
Go to the beach and walk the pier!

Cause you’re passionate about:
Breast cancer research. It’s a cause that hits close to home.

Dream job:
I can truly say my current job is my dream job.  I love where I am at and what I do. I know there is room to grow and things will change, but for now I am right where I want to be.

Next splurge item you’re planning for:
Hmm, not exactly sure but I have a few ideas floating around. I just bought a new Jeep!

Encouraging Other Women

Inspiration:
I am inspired by those around me and those I am able to help each day. I am fortunate to be in a rewarding profession where I can help people each day. Seeing the great things some many people do and have overcome truly inspires me to be better.

Best advice you’ve ever received:
Do what makes you happy.

My mentor(s):
Professionally, my current boss Dean Millar, as well as numerous other clinical instructors and professors who have guided and molded me. Personally, I look up to many wonderful friends and family who I can always rely on for great advice and support.

Career wisdom for young professional women:
Don’t give up, even if the journey seems long – if it makes you happy, it’s worth it in the end.

Let’s Hear It for the Girls: Meet Kelly Rivard

One of my favorite article series is “Behind the Pencil (Skirt)” that Levo League does about once a week. The website – which focuses on providing useful information and resources for young professional women – uses this series to highlight 20-something women who are making waves in their respective career fields. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in learning about the wide variety of careers that are out there and learning from your peers.

Whenever I read “Behind the Pencil (Skirt)”, though, I always wonder how my friends and network of 20-something women would answer these questions. After all, I know a great group of young professionals who are working in all sorts of fields, in the city and in the country. Wouldn’t it be neat to learn more about them and their careers? So, that’s what I’m doing.

Kelly Rivard headshot

Meet Kelly – she’s originally from rural Illinois, but is now an SEO and social media specialist for Kansas City full-service marketing agency, PlattForm.

My friend, Kelly Rivard – or, rather, “sister from another mister” as we like to refer to ourselves – kindly agreed to be my guinea pig for this project. I hope you enjoy learning more about her!

Background

Current location:
Kansas City

Originally from:
Rural northeastern Illinois

Education (college/major):
North Central College (IL), Interactive Media Studies Major

Job title and company:
SEO & Social Media Specialist, PlattForm

Brief description of PlattForm:
PlattForm is a full-service marketing agency with a specific focus on vocational and continuing education.

Where were you before PlattForm?
I was previously with AdFarm, a full-service agency that specializes in agricultural clients.

How did you become interested in SEO and social media?
As an Interactive Media major, I was always fascinated by developing digital communications trends. Even though my focus was graphics, I accidentally became involved in the “social media revolution” of agriculture, often referred to as “agvocacy.” I landed some really life-changing internships in agriculture that focused on social media, which led to my first full-time job out of college at AdFarm. As the social media coordinator there, I learned a lot of valuable skills. Eventually, my career took an unexpected turn and I got the opportunity to learn some new skills as an SEO and social media specialist for PlattForm.

Around the Office

Office culture in a few words:
Nurturing, empowering, and fun.

A day at work looks like:
Every day is different. Usually, my day is a combination of organized chaos and unexpected situations. The job is stressful, but rewarding beyond belief.

Favorite part of your job:
Working in education, I get to know that the work I do changes lives.

Biggest challenge you face at your job:
Time management. So much of my job is free-flowing, independent work with lots of surprises that sometimes it feels like fitting 10 gallons of stuff in a 5 gallon bucket — but it’s fantastic.

Apps (or other tech) you can’t live without:
My Outlook Calendar, my iPhone calendar, and my iPhone clock for timers, alarms, and reminders.

Style

Your personal style in a few words:
A hot mess? The only shoes I like to wear on a daily basis are cowgirl boots and Chuck Taylor high-tops.

Office dress code:
“Smart casual.” Jeans and a t-shirt is acceptable most days; dress for the occasion for different types of meetings.

Go-to work outfit:
Jeans, boots or Chucks, and a t-shirt or cute top depending on my mood!

On-the-go kit:
Clear or pink lip gloss, sunglasses, and a Swiss Army knife with a nail file.

Lifestyle

Morning routine:
Hit snooze as many times as I can get away with. Get up, get dressed, walk my dog, then pack a lunch and head to work. I talk to my boyfriend on the phone for a few minutes, and then listen to 96.5 The Buzz for the rest of my 30-40 minute commute to work.

Favorite spot for brunch:
My boyfriend’s apartment. We love breakfast food. His kitchen is bigger than mine so I love to go over there and cook omelets, French toast, and breakfast burritos for us!

On Saturday, you can be found:
On adventures with my dog and/or friends and/or boyfriend. Or, volunteering. I’m a chronic philanthropist.

Favorite spot for a 10-minute break:
Somewhere inside of a book. I’m currently reading Clash of Kings, the second book from the series that Game of Thrones is based on.

One thing everyone should do when visiting your city:
Kansas City is an AMAZING food city. Find a local favorite restaurant (or several) and eat yourself stupid.

Hobbies:
Reading, painting, video games (I have a pink xBox 360 controller), and volunteering with the American Cancer Society.

Cause you’re passionate about:
Mental health awareness. Statistics say that as a bipolar woman, I should not be as successful, happy, and stable as I am. Yet, here I am, kickin’ ass and takin’ names. Anyone can succeed if they have the willpower and support structure!

At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian/professional artist/a flute player in a world-famous symphony.

Dream job:
Someday I’d love to work in a non-profit setting. I have a very charitable soul, and making a difference gives me a deep sense of satisfaction in my job.

Encouraging Other Women

Inspiration:
My parents (my mom, my dad until he passed when I was 12, and my step-dad) have worked hard to give me and my siblings a good foundation in our lives. My mom is especially inspiring to me. No matter how tough life gets, she smiles and does what we needs to for those she loves most.

Best advice you’ve ever received:
Have confidence. I struggle with confidence every day of my life; I KNOW I’m good at what I do, I KNOW I’m a good person, but knowing and feeling are two different things.

My mentor(s):
I have had so many! I’ve stood on the backs of giants to get where I am today, and I only hope I can pass on wisdom like I’ve received from them over the years. A few to mention: Katie Pinke, who was a supervisor for my internship with AdFarm; Libby Hall, who was my supervisor when I was Social Media Coordinator for AdFarm; Mark Gale, who gave me my first ever agency experience as a 20-year-old intern; Janice Person, who has more wisdom than any single person should be allowed to keep in their own head.

In 10 years…
I will be one of those crazy women juggling a family and a professional life.

Career wisdom for young professional women:
Don’t ever pigeon-hole yourself – don’t assume you can’t do a job because you’re a woman, you’re “too girly,” “too nice,” or “too young.” If you have the experience, drive, and passion to do it, go for it!