An internship, out of county, without anyone I knew… Could I do this? My name is Taylor McNamara, a soon to be Business Management graduate from Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) with a specialization in Agriculture. My last step before graduation was the completion of a summer internship. After a few months of looking for an internship, Annie Mead, Logan County’s 4-H and Youth Development Extension Educator, gave me the contact for Hardin County’s Extension office. I began contacting Mark Light and next thing I knew I was meeting him to discuss a potential internship. After meeting with him I was thrilled about all the different opportunities I could experience in one summer.
Coming from Logan County to Hardin County, I did not know what to expect from their extension program. All I had every known was the way that Logan County ran things. I asked myself if I could do an internship out of county, daily, worried that I could not succeed at a job where I knew no one. I am definitely shy when meeting new people, and I am afraid to go out and do things alone. A week before my internship I panicked; I almost decided I would much rather not graduate than to have to face my fears. Looking back, I do not know why I was so worried; the people at Hardin County Extension’s office are so friendly and helpful.
On the night before my first day, I did not know what to wear. Do I wear a dress or skirt? Are dress pants okay? What about a nice shirt? I chose what I was comfortable in, dress pants and a nice shirt. I showed up for my internship ten minutes early the next morning and sat in my car telling myself I just had to get through the 450 hour requirement for my class. I could do this! 8 o’clock hit and it was time to head in. I walked in the door and was greeted right away, then shown around. A little later I began my first task, a 4-H camp letter mailing. Before I knew it, the day was over and I was more than ready for the next.
A day in extension is never the same. One day I was out in the field counting soybeans and the next I was facilitating a cake decorating workshop. There is never a dull moment. Throughout the summer I have learned about the differences between Hardin and Logan County’s extension programs, which gives me a greater perspective on OSU extension as a whole. The large amount of programming and staffing in Hardin County has been a new experience, and I have enjoyed banding together Logan and Hardin County ideas. Every day I am able to do something new and meet new people. I am so grateful for the experiences I have been given and for being pushed out of my comfort zone. Here I am today, with 430 hours completed. This internship has been a huge stepping stone to finding my ideal career path.