The Rural Works! internship program provides NC State students with an opportunity to engage with and gain work experience within rural counties across North Carolina. These internships allow students to gain real workplace experience while connecting local businesses to eager interns with the potential to help their business thrive. This internship program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of majors, backgrounds, and skill sets. Internships include opportunities to work with private, public, and nonprofit employers in rural counties.
Benefits to Students
- A rich array of studies clearly documents the benefits of internships to students, including improved academic performance and increases in both the volume and quality of job offers following graduation. A recent study by N.A.C.E. (National Association of Colleges and Employers) found that, when reviewing a college graduate’s resume, employers rate completion of an internship as the most influential element, ahead of college major, leadership positions held or general work experience.
- Internships provide excellent opportunities for students to apply classroom skills in the field, learn workplace skills, and identify preferred work settings. Having the chance to work for employers in rural settings will enable students to consider a wider range of job opportunities and work settings following graduation.
Benefits to Employers
- This program helps students develop the technical and workplace skills that employers favor. It also gives employers both immediate assistance with some projects and provides them a good “first look” at potential future employees at a relatively low cost.
Benefits to Communities
- Many rural communities in North Carolina (and across the U.S.) report talented young people leave to attend college and choose not to return. NC State’s Rural Works! summer program seeks to combat this issue by matching interest and opportunity, as some students return to their home counties for rewarding summer opportunities and others explore new towns and opportunities.