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National Intern Day: Students Making a Difference in our Rural Communities


In honor of National Intern Day, NC State’s Career Development Center is excited to feature the Rural Works! Internship Program, as well as one of our students who participated in the program.

The Rural Works! Internship Program is a summer internship program unique to NC State. Rural Works! places NC State students in paid summer internships in rural communities. This summer we have 71 students interning in 40 different counties, from Cherokee County in the mountains all the way to the coast in Dare County.

Rural Works! is open to students from all majors. It is a great opportunity to gain real work experience and explore potential career paths while living and working in a small town.

Meet Katelynn Roark

Image of Rural Works Intern Katelyn Roark

Katelynn Roark is a junior, majoring in biochemistry, from Franklinton, NC. Katelynn interned with the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club of NC in Franklinton, NC.

What was your role?

I led an online STEAM camp for the children enrolled. I came up with the ideas for every class that I taught as well as compiled a list of supplies that were needed for each class. These supplies were then shipped out to the participants of the camp.

What interested you in pursuing an internship through Rural Works!?

I wanted to give back to the community in which I grew up. I liked that the internship was in the county I grew up in and I wanted to give the children there an experience I was never able to have at their age.

What was the most rewarding part of your internship?

The most rewarding part of my internship was seeing the excitement on the kid’s faces each day as we went through our classes. Whether this excitement came from a successful experiment or just the joy in participating in class it always made my day. I was able to establish a relationship with some of the kids as I interacted with the same kids everyday for 7 weeks.

What advice would you give to students interested in Rural Works!?

I would tell any student to have patience and enjoy their time with Rural Works! I learned so many things through this internship but I was also an essential asset to the success of the camp. It was a lot of pressure at first but I always had support and guidance from both the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club of NC. For those who are interested just know it can be a little overwhelming at first because you will most likely be the only intern for your company but you will always have support to back you. It is also incredibly rewarding to be part of such an amazing program.