Here we are, at the end of my journey with the N.C. State Fair through North Carolina’s State Government Internship Program. For the past 10 weeks I have had the opportunity to work with the Public Affairs Division of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to promote the state’s biggest event.
When I first found out that I was offered an internship, I had no idea what was ahead of me. I knew that I loved journalism and I loved the State Fair, but I wasn’t 100 percent certain on how the two would come together. Fast forward to my final week of a summer that flew by, I’ve not only learned how important mass communications is to the fair, but also how important it is in state government.
In my short time with the fair, I’ve had the chance to interview and write stories on several of the fair’s leaders, watch state legislators chug milk, make my YouTube debut in a departmental educational video, craft numerous press releases and coordinate a grassroots high school ad campaign. Needless to say, I got the best internship of them all.
I’d spent most of my life experiencing the fair as an attendee. I rode the rides, I tried the latest deep-fried concoction and I took in the exhibits. There was always something magical about the fair beyond the bright lights and the delicious smells, but I could never really put my finger on it. After this summer, however, I’ve seen that the magic is the force behind the event. It’s the celebration of our state and its top industry; the passion brought by everyone who works to make the fair possible.
Despite how cheesy it sounds, this internship has completely changed my perspective on state government, myself and the future possibilities that will be available for me after I finish school. This experience has sparked an interest in government and public service that I didn’t know I had. It also pushed me to do things that I’d never done before, like write a speech for a public official. I didn’t know that I could do that, and it was definitely a highlight for me.
Another highlight was getting to meet and work with some of the nicest and most welcoming people I’ve ever met. I’d like to say a big thank you to Merrie Go Round, Flying Bob, Funhouse, Firecracker, Candy Apple and Blue Ribbon for being such great co-workers this summer, and for allowing me to be a part of the hard work, craziness and fun that is putting on the State Fair. They’ve taught me a lot about the State Fair and all of the other important responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. My experience has been invaluable and truly a privilege.
My internship has come to an end, and even though I’ll be M.I.A. and abroad for the rest of the year, I’ll be back in 2016 and ready to enjoy the fair with the rest of the state!
— Super Shot
P.S. Be sure to read some of my Deep Fried stories that will be released in the coming weeks and make plans to attend the finest event in North Carolina, the State Fair, Oct. 15-25!