I gave a presentation to the ALEC 136 (Fundamentals of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication) freshman course at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on my experience with the Rural Futures Institute (RFI).
I enthusiastically introduced my presentation by sharing my Twitter bio — which is my favorite way to start a presentation, by the way.
After giving an overview of RFI, I explained the communication activities I perform on a daily basis. I focused most on my involvement with the Rural Futures Podcast.
I then talked about how RFI helped “build” me.
First, I explained how RFI helped me build my portfolio. When I gave this presentation, I had completed 30 Facebook Live episodes, 10 podcast episodes, 50+ press releases, 5 videos from start to finish, endless graphics for 17 videos, many social media campaigns and one presentation. When quantifying my experience in that way, I feel proud. It was exciting to share that pride with my audience.
Second, I talked about how RFI helped build my professional experience. Interning with RFI has given me interpersonal experience working on a team, conquering introversion and taking creative responsibility. I also have gained technical experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, multimedia production and writing.
Third, I talked about how RFI helped me build my network. As an out-of-state student, building my network in Nebraska with the RFI team, RFI students, NU faculty and community partners has been really valuable. I also cherish the opportunity I have had to network with our global partners at Microsoft, the Japan Society and Tufts University, as well as our podcast guests.
I shared my biggest lesson from my RFI experience: I learned that I want to tell stories and elevate voices for a non-profit around causes that I am passionate about and that would otherwise not be heard.
“There are 214 days until I graduate.” This statement brought on smiles and giggles around the room. While I used this statement to poke fun at my college career, I also used it as a bouncing off point to talk about my personal growth and give advice to the freshmen.
Through my internship with RFI, I elevate voices around the future of technology, leadership and rural-urban collaboration. Working for RFI has instilled a passion for rural social justice in me, and I am so grateful for my rural storytelling experience.
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