So How Do You Get Your Protein?

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By Johnny Merolla


Jordan Kercheval is Minerva Strategies’ winter intern. She is a Washington native and freshly minted Washington State University (WSU) graduate where she double-majored in marketing and public relations. The Minerva team is excited to have Jordan on board for the next couple of months to pick her brain about the freshest strategies and tactics taught in the communications world.


You’re a recent WSU grad where you studied marketing and PR, what was your experience like?

Honestly, when I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a veterinarian so I chose WSU as it has an excellent vet school. But then I grew up, like people do and changed my mind about my career. I didn’t change my mind about being a Coug, though.

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I’ve always loved writing, so I decided to delve into the world of communications. My marketing major was in the Carson College of Business and my PR degree was in the Murrow College of Communications. The double major was a two-pronged approach.


Marketing was much more business related – math and sales centric. Most classes focused on why consumers make purchase decisions. The PR side was more focused on honing writing skills. This combination helps me understand the world of communications from each side of the spectrum.


What did you learn most from your college years?

I learned about myself and how to be an adult. Being five hours from home means that no one holds your hand anymore. My hand was held in high school – which is probably good, but when you’re on your own, it’s important to have that “aha” moment and realize it’s time to grow up.


What’re you most excited about doing during your internship with Minerva?

I’m most excited to learn. I connect with a lot of Minerva’s clients, and I eventually want to work in the nonprofit sector. Learning how nonprofits use communication to advance their mission is fascinating and I want to be able to harness the strategies and tactics to one day advance a cause I’m passionate about.


I’m most excited about Ballard Food Bank because food justice is so important to me. There’s enough food for people in our country, so why are there still hungry people? It’s unacceptable.


What does your dream job look like?

I don’t have one organization in mind, but in-house PR for an animal sanctuary, PETA, or a company that aligns with my vegan values. If for-profit, definitely something that is sustainable.


How important is mission to you in a workplace?

Very important, probably the first thing I would consider.


So you’re not going to do communications for Tyson Foods?



You are vegan. What do you have to say to the haters?

Ugh, I knew this question was coming! Honestly, I don’t waste my time. I don’t want to be one of those vegans pushing their beliefs on everyone. I think doing that gives a bad name to those who share my lifestyle. I’m more interested in talking to people who are interested in changing their eating habits or learning more about the lifestyle. If they are, then we can have a conversation about the benefits. The worst part is going to a friend’s house and they’ve made dinner already. It’s always an awkward situation.


What’s the most annoying question you get being a vegan?

How do you get your protein? How do you live without cheese? I just say, “check out this amazing nut milk cheese recipe.”


Why did you choose to go vegan?

I was vegetarian for two years, mainly for the health benefits. It was the gateway drug. Then I started doing research around the environment and factory farming. I chose to become vegan for animal welfare. Once I had been vegetarian, it became morally hard for me to eat dairy and eggs because I knew what was going on in factory farms.


What does the future of food look like?

The answer is not everyone going vegan, that’s just out of touch with reality. I think we need to reduce factory farming by a substantial amount. Humans don’t need meat to survive. As humans we come up with so many great inventions. We need to figure out how to treat other animals better. Changing public opinion that we don’t need meat to live. Also, lab grown meat is on the come up. This is an area I’m clearly passionate about and look forward to learning more about how I can advance this area of work.


What do you do for fun?

Like any true Washingtonian I enjoy hiking, the outdoors, and exercise. Lately I’ve been getting involved in activism: Women’s March, March For Our Lives, Animal Rights March. I wish I had a cool hobby, but I haven’t developed that yet.


Any guilty pleasures?

Jersey. Shore.


Where’s your favorite place on Earth that you’ve been to?

A little town in Ireland – Spiddal. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s a small town – which I normally don’t like – but people are seemingly more aware of their surroundings. They weren’t glued to their phones. This was refreshing from the go-go-go mentality of life in a big city.

About The Author

Minerva Strategies

Minerva Strategies

The Minerva team has decades of experience working with nonprofits, foundations, and values-driven companies. Minerva also partners with experts—trusted designers, web developers, global communications professionals, and others—who share our excitement for creating positive social change. Through these partnerships, we can build a team that is tailored to your needs. Learn more about who we are or what we do.