Ogallala Commons has collaborated with Calley Runnels as an Intern Organizer/Supervisor since 2009. She has worked with many interns in that time, and has been able to see our organization grow and change over the years. We recently interviewed Calley about her work and about her experience as a Supervisor for OC’s internship program.
2014 OC Community Interns with Supervisors: Texas AgriLife County Extension Agent John Villalba on far left and Texas AgriLife Extension Food and Consumer Sciences Agent Calley Runnels (Interns l-r: Bailey Adsms, Colton Lundegreen, Emaire Marten, and Sydney Keim)
OC: Can you share with us the work you do at your job? What roles have your interns and apprentices taken?
CR: I am a County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Science with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Swisher County, TX. I provide educational programs to our county residents in several areas including nutrition, safety, health, youth development and community development.
In Swisher County, I coordinate our community internship program where the interns can see what it takes for rural communities to function. They spend time with me in my job, but also spend time at several other businesses and community organizations such as Headstart, the Chamber of Commerce, and the hospital.
OC: You first agreed to become a supervisor in 2009. What about this opportunity appealed to you?
CR: I want young people to really learn about the community they live in and understand the great things that go on here. I also want to get their ideas on what can improve our community.
OC: Can you share a little of what your role as supervisor looks like? What kinds of things are required of you as a supervisor?
CR: I work with our Leadership Advisory Board to recruit and select interns. My co-worker and I then put together work plans and activity calendars for the summer. We check in with the interns weekly and sometimes daily to see how things are going at each work site. While they are actually with us at the Extension Office, we educate them on our jobs and have them help us implement educational programs and other daily tasks.
OC: Since 2009, you’ve had a chance to watch OC learn, grow, and change. Have you been pleased with the growth and the changes that you have seen in our organization and our internship program?
CR: I have been very pleased to see this program both grow and become more organized. The online submission of timesheets and the blogs have enhanced the program.
OC: What kind of impact do you think an internship/apprenticeship has upon the young people who participate in this program? What kind of benefit has the program brought to you?
CR: I think this program has impacted the interns by showing them so many of the assets that are right here in their home towns that they weren’t even aware of. The internship program has allowed our office to be more productive and get more accomplished in the summer.
OC: Do you have any advice for others who currently are a supervisor for an OC intern, or for those who would like to be?
CR: I would encourage them to become involved in the program and to communicate with interns as much as possible to make the program effective.