Summer Internships Provide Valuable Experience

— Written By and last updated by Nicki Ragland

By: Nelson Brownlee, Extension Area Farm Management Agent
Ra’Tasha Rouse, NCA&T Cooperative Extension Summer Intern
N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center

Every year, students look far and wide to gain experience in their chosen field of study during the summer. Some get regular jobs for the summer and others become interns. There are paid internships and voluntary internships. Many students like paid internships so they can have a little money for the summer, some take voluntary internships to gain experience in their field. The role of an intern can be very diverse, depending on the type of internship that they have obtained.

This year, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University offered a limited number of summer internships for rising juniors and seniors. Summer internships provide college students with a great opportunity to have an off-campus learning experience in a North Carolina Cooperative Extension County Center, in which students learn about Extension through work-related experiences and applying knowledge gained from their academic course work at a College or University.

This summer, the Extension Center in Robeson County is pleased to have a summer intern. Her name is Ra’Tasha Rouse from Erwin, North Carolina. She is a rising senior at North Carolina A&T, with a double major in Animal Science and Lab Animal Science. Ra’Tasha will assist the agents and program assistants in providing programming to meet the needs of the citizens of Robeson County, while gaining valuable experience and a general understanding of the Cooperative Extension Program. She will also assist the staff in the day-to-day operation of the office.

Her special project will be to design and implement a program to give youth an opportunity to explore different aspects of agriculture. The audience will be the Robeson County Junior Master Gardeners and will be part of the 4-H Summer Fun Day Camps. The program will be part of the weeklong certification program for youth to complete requirements awarded by the National Junior Master Gardener Program office and Junior Master Gardener state program partners.

After graduation, she hopes to start a career in Cooperative Extension. Ra’Tasha says, “The wonderful thing about having this internship is that I get to see how Extension works through the eyes of Extension agents. This will help me make sure that this is the right career path for me.”

Ra’Tasha will be a valuable asset to the office as well as being provided with an opportunity to gain valuable experience.

For more information, please contact Nelson Brownlee, Extension Area Farm Management Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 671-3276, by E-mail at, or visit our website at

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.