Hi, I am Cydney Stables and this is my last week as an intern for the OSU Extension Communications office. As I am wrapping up the last week of my internship, I have taken some time to think about all the amazing opportunities this summer has provided me. Throughout this journey, I have learned a number of life skills that not only relate directly to my majors but also to any career path I choose to take.
During my internship, I had the opportunity to rotate among four teams in the Extension communications office: news and public issues, marketing, web and content strategy and publishing. While each team brought a new perspective to the overall outlook of the Extension communications department, I also had the opportunity to complete new and exciting tasks.
Some of my favorite projects this summer included:
- Traveling across the state to explore county Extension offices.
- Writing and publishing a news release.
- Developing a 4-H postcard, brochure and templates.
- Adding publications to the Extension website.
- Creating and conducting an activity to help Extension with web organization.
- Formatting the main Extension website topic pages.
- Creating a social media plan to promote publications.
- Editing various web articles.
- Voting on my favorite T-shirt design to use as promotional material.
This list may seem long but there have been so many other tasks that have taught me new things, brought me out of my comfort zone, and helped me learn tips and tricks for my future success.
While working towards all of these goals, I also had the opportunity to work with interns in county offices on their blog posts. By reading each post I felt like I experienced an even broader perspective of the work Extension programs do. Being the intern for central Extension communications has provided me with an outlook on Extension from a new perspective.
My internship overall has been a great learning experience. By rotating among the different communications teams, I had the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills including problem solving, seeking out advice, using outside resources, thinking outside the box, as well as drafting and revising.
I have had the opportunity to develop great connections among each employee in the office and work with different teams, different personalities, work environments and new and exciting tasks.
I have seen the hierarchy it takes to run a strong outreach organization and while leaders are important, every member of every office is just as important. Extension needs a communications network to bring the actions and efforts of county employees to the eyes of legislators while communicators need county employees to do the work and perform the outreach.
From traveling around that state at the beginning of my internship – seeing the day-to-day functions of county Extension employees – to working on central communications teams and even meeting important program leaders my internship has provided me with a well-rounded outlook of the tiered functionality of the Extension program in the state of Oregon. Growing up in Yamhill County I had the opportunity to call the Extension 4-H program home and I hope to someday work, volunteer or participate in the outreach of Extension, now and into the future.
I would like to thank all of the people I have had the opportunity to work with. It has been amazing to see how each team functions to bring together the value of Extension as a whole. Every individual is important in making an impact on the public, educating youths, connecting communities and empowering individuals. This internship has shown me what the purpose of Extension truly is from all levels. I have developed a great appreciation for county workers who assisted me in all my years through the 4-H program, for legislators and county commissioners who allocate the funding to support impactful programs, and for volunteers, staff, and faculty whose purpose it is to serve our communities.