Blythe Landon reflects on her time as intern to the president

Ready for anything: Blythe Landon sits at her desk in the president’s office. She is one of two students who works in Farley’s expansive offices in Morgan Hall.

Working in the office of the President may seem overwhelming to many students, but Blythe Landon makes it look easy.

Landon is a junior majoring in Business Marketing with a double major in International Business and a minor in English. Needless to say, she is a hardworking student as she has learned to balance both her coursework, and assisting President Farley for the past two years.

For Landon, working close with Washburn’s most recognizable and prominent figure has been one of the most rewarding parts of her college experience. After receiving an invitation to apply for the job in 2019 to become one of only two student assistants to the president she quickly accepted the rare opportunity.

“That was just the coolest thing that has ever happened to me on campus probably is that invitation to apply,” said Landon. “And then, you know, the interview, everybody just seemed nice. And then once I got the job, I was so excited because I knew that it was just an unparalleled opportunity.”

Sign here please: Sue Palmer (left) and Blythe Landon (right) take a look at Farley’s schedule for the week. Helping manage the president’s time is a full time job. (Matthew L. Self)

Landon soon came to appreciate her time working for the president despite the challenges it presented, especially when planning Dr. Farley’s schedule. She especially came to value working alongside her fellow office assistants and being able to see the president in action regularly.

“The way he works is so thoughtful and organized and he always wants to check with other people and make sure they’re okay,” said Landon. “He wants to give students the best opportunities possible.”

President Farley had nothing but praise for Landon’s work ethic and her ability to keep up with the everyday workload.

“She impressed me as being a serious person, but that person had humor,” said Farley.

Landon remarked that one of her favorite things about working close to the president was how generous he is with his time. She shared a memory of a moment where she had to ask Dr. Farley a few questions for an article she was writing at the time.

“Since we know how busy his schedule is, it would be so easy to be afraid to ask but he never makes you afraid to ask to have a little bit of his time,” said Landon.” And he sat down with me when I was writing that article and he just shared story after story about his experience and how amazing it’s been, and all the wisdom he’s picked up along the way.”

Sue Palmer, the executive assistant for the president’s office, also shared a few words regarding Landon’s service.

“She’s always offering to help other people,” said Palmer. “She’s kind of like a daughter. We treat her like an honorary daughter.”

Before gaining employment in the office of the president, Landon has served, and continues to serve, as a peer educator at Washburn and as a member of Ichabods Moving Forward which has helped her get more in touch with community needs.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” said Landon.

Student and President: President Jerry Farley (left) and Blythe Landon (right) pose for a photo in their office. Farley regularly takes time to show his appreciation for his student employees. (Matthew L. Self)

She describes these experiences and her work with legal counsel in the president’s office as the primary reason for her desire to pursue law school in the future.

“I think that’s probably where I’m headed,” said Landon. “The options that it offers me, I think that business has set a good stage for understanding where I want to go and the kind of research involved in law school and that kind of thing. So I think, for the moment, law school is the next immediate step.”

Her time at Washburn has prepared Landon well for whatever challenges await her after graduation. She’s demonstrated herself as being a person who can handle whatever issues arise with confidence while remaining serious and a tad humorous.

“Ever since I’ve been here, we’ve had some phenomenal interns that are here in this office,” said Dr. Farley. “So when we get someone that is good we want to make sure that they get something that they’ll look back on and be proud of.”

Edited by: Crystal Hendrix, Katrina Johnson