Experiential Learning at its Best: Augustana Communication Studies and Marketing Major Returns to Her Roots as Intern for 4-H Program

Anna Rose ‘22, of Alpha, Minnesota, is a communication studies/business and marketing double major at Augustana with a minor in entrepreneurship. With her degree, Rose hopes to one day secure a position related to event planning/management or marketing. Currently, she is interning with University of Minnesota Extension Services, Youth Development in Rock County, Minnesota, which is located in Luverne. At Augustana, Rose has served as a 2021 Welcome Week co-chair, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) president and Office of Admission ambassador.

Q: Where or how did you hear about Augustana?

A: Growing up in the southwest corner of Minnesota, I knew Augustana was an option for school. Sioux Falls is one of the closest big cities. I saw some ads for Augie on billboards and at my high school. 

Q: What is/are the reason(s) you chose to come to Augustana?

A: For the longest time, I didn’t seriously consider Augustana and I even toured our rival school to the north! The summer before my senior year of high school, out of the blue, I decided to tour Augustana. I scheduled a summer visit and fell in love with the community and the school on that visit. The people I worked with, specifically my counselor, Amanda, were incredible. As I embark on my senior year at Augustana, I love the people, the school and the Sioux Falls community more than ever. Choosing Augustana as my college was the best decision I ever made. 

Q: What do your job duties include?

A: I support the University of Minnesota Extension and 4-H Youth Program in Rock County. Some of the duties I have been assigned include planning and executing events like day camp, Cloverbud meetings and livestock ethics training; sourcing and communicating with judges for the county fair; designing materials as needed (social media graphics, Champion/Reserve Champion County fair signs); communicating with local and statewide 4-H stakeholders for various projects; assisting in pre-County Fair logistics planning; and assisting with the run of the Rock County Fair at the end of July.

Q: How did you get the internship? Did anyone help you? What did that journey look like?

A: I have always been aware of the University of Minnesota Extension internship. I participated in Jackson County 4-H for 14 years and worked with some incredible 4-H interns. So, honestly, the preparation for this internship started more than 14 years ago when I started my 4-H career in kindergarten. I would not be the person I am today without my 4-H career, so I knew I wanted to at least apply for the internship and possibly have the opportunity to pour back into a program that means so much to me. 

I started looking into the application process early during my time at Augie and found the requirements and application deadlines. During my 2020 winter break, I completed my application, crafted the perfect cover letter, picked my location preferences and hit the submit button. I was invited to interview for the position in late January 2021 and was offered and accepted the position in February. 

Right before I interviewed for this position, I met with my CAP (career and academic planning) Specialist, Travis. This internship was my dream internship and I wanted to be placed in Rock County. Travis and I talked through why I was the best candidate for the position and how I should convey that information during my interview. Travis helped turn any nervous energy into confidence that I WAS THE BEST candidate. 

Q: What do you like most about your internship?

A: One of the things I like most about this internship is being involved with 4-H again. There is a very distinct end to a person’s 4-H career as a participant. As I ended my time as a 4-Her, I was immensely grateful for the experience, but also sad it was over. So, this year when I was offered the opportunity to work with 4-H, I could not pass it up. I like that I get to work with the program that I so passionately loved. I like that I get to plan and execute events. I like that I get to build connections with youth, volunteers and community members who all have a love for 4-H. I like that I get to work in a new area of southwest Minnesota that feels like home but still offers new experiences. I like that I get to cultivate and nourish young 4-Hers’ careers as they attend day camps, stop in the extension office, or show at the county fair. I like that I get to work with incredible people in Rock County “to make the best better!” (the 4-H Motto). 

Q: What do you hope to learn/gain from the internship?

A: I want to nourish my love of learning and curiosity in this internship. Hands-on learning is one of the most fun things and that is the core of the Extension education model! While I work hands-on learning into day camps and Cloverbud meetings, I am also engaging in hands-on learning every day! In this internship, I hope to develop my sense of curiosity and the courage to chase those curiosities. After only a month, I am already learning so much about extension and 4-H specifically related to the livestock and animal science side of 4-H. Even after my time with extension, I don’t want to stop chasing curiosity. 

Q: Why is experiential learning important for future endeavors?

A: Experiential learning is essential for my future. I have had other experiential learning opportunities that were valuable only for the reason they taught me what I did NOT want to do. My current internship is incredible. While I don’t have all the words yet to truly explain its impact on my life, my Extension internship is confirming that I want to work for something bigger than myself. I want to work for an organization that cares deeply about people and impacts the community. I am excited to go to work every morning because I get to care deeply about the members and happenings of Rock County 4-H — what an honor!

Q: How important is building relationships/connections?

A: Relationships and connections are priceless! Connections are essential for professional life (I can attest to this claim as I use connections from my 4-H career and childhood church to hopefully secure county fair judges for my current position), but more importantly, connections are essential for a fulfilling life. Connections make work and life fun! Connections and relationships are one of the main reasons I am loving this internship. I am honored to play a small role in the lives of Rock County 4-H members, volunteers and sponsors. 


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