Rural Internship Initiative
Gain valuable work experience related to your career while strengthening connections and opportunities in a rural North Carolina community!
How It Works – It’s Simple
Find an internship site that aligns with your field of study.
Start your application process.
Complete all application components.
Submit your application.
Engage in selection process.
Princess Alston, Wilson County
(’22 Rural Internship Initiative Participant)
The Rural Internship Initiative
The Rural Internship Initiative provides eligible Golden LEAF Scholars with professional work experience related to their career field in a rural North Carolina community.
The Golden LEAF Foundation provides funding to pay interns $15/hour for up to 400 hours of work. Internships take place over 8-10 weeks, between May and August.
Internship sites that take on a Golden LEAF Scholar Intern provide them with a meaningful project or role that aligns with the student’s college major and future career goals.
The Rural Internship Initiative is open to all Golden LEAF Scholars, excluding seniors graduating in the Spring or Summer 2024 semesters.
Eligible Experiences – The internship opportunity identified by a Golden LEAF Scholar must be aligned with the student’s course of study.
Eligible Sites – Internship sites include, but are not limited to:
- governmental entities
- and/or companies
Internships must be completed in person at a site physically located in a qualifying county.
Interns are responsible for:
- contacting their prospective internship site
- discussing the internship opportunity with the site manager
- working with the site to discuss job responsibilities for the internship
Joshua Jones, Graham County
(’22 Rural Internship Initiative Participant)
This information will be made available to scholars in the fall of 2023.
Golden LEAF Scholars are responsible for identifying a site to complete their internship. To support this process, Golden LEAF has compiled a list of sites that are interested in hosting an intern. This list is a resource. Golden LEAF Scholars may reach out to sites on this list or work with sites outside this list to secure an internship.
While the Rural Internship Initiative aims to provide its participating scholars with valuable work experience, there are guidelines for activities scholars may engage in within a healthcare setting. Please review this resource for a catalog of pre-approved healthcare job descriptions that you and your selected internship site will need to choose from.
Applicants will be asked to submit:
- Contact information
- An unofficial transcript (to verify course of study information)
- Internship site information
- Three short essay questions in which the applicant describes how the proposed experience aligns with their course of study and supports their professional development.
- What are your future career plans and how does this internship opportunity align with them?
- What factors are influencing your decision to return to a rural North Carolina community after college graduation?
- What excites you about this internship opportunity?
December 4, 2023
January 18, 2024
Early Application Deadline
February 8, 2024
Regular Application Deadline
The internship opportunity identified by a Golden LEAF Scholar must be aligned with the student’s course of study. Course of study is defined as a declared major or intended major for first-year students that have not yet declared a major. For students without a declared major, additional information regarding courses taken or registered to take may be requested as confirmation of course of study information.
Internship sites include, but are not limited to, businesses, non-profits, governmental entities, and/or companies. Internships must be completed in person at a site physically located in a qualifying rural county. Internships may be completed at an entity with multiple locations including with locations outside of the eligible counties, provided the student completes the internship at a site located in an eligible county.
Discussing and Creating a Job Description
Interns and internship site supervisors are responsible for crafting a job description* that details the intern’s work and contains the following elements:
- Creates a meaningful experience that aligns with the intern’s field of study,
- Provides an extension of the content learned in college courses,
- Uses direct action verbs to describe specific task, and
- Defines the overall internship experience clearly and concisely.
Below is an example of a strong job description that contains the elements listed above.
- Visits stream restoration sites to monitor bank and in-stream structure stability
- Inventories livestock riparian plant species survival at project sites
- Creates a database of past and current projects on the company website
- Identifies river clean-up sites and plans a volunteer river clean-up day
- Updates social media and works on a monthly newsletter
- Works with local Soil & Water District Conservation offices on watershed plan
- Assists with developing an environmental education site and signage at a community park project
* While the Rural Internship Initiative aims to provide its participating scholars with valuable work experience, there are guidelines for activities scholars may engage in within a healthcare setting. Please review the Healthcare Catalog for a list of pre-approved healthcare intern positions and job descriptions.