From Michigan 4-Her to college intern

4-H alumna expands her knowledge of 4-H Youth Development and financial management while completing an internship experience.

4-H alumna and student intern Aubrey Perrone riding Leo.
4-H alumna and student intern Aubrey Perrone riding Leo.

Aubrey Perrone spent 13 years in the Berrien County 4-H Program. Most of her experience centered on the 4-H Horse and Pony project and she was successful in hippology, competing nationally. As a 4-H leader, Perrone volunteers with the We Can Ride 4-H Club, which is Berrien County’s local Proud Equestrian Program. Perrone also continues to ride and show horses in her spare time.

Since September 2016, Perrone has been serving as a student intern from Southwestern Michigan College. She is working on her associate’s degree in accounting. With the newly released Michigan 4-H Financial Manuals, Perrone, her advisor and I created an internship for her to receive more than 144 hours of non-for-profit money management experience through Michigan State University Extension.

This internship has opened Perrone’s eyes to many of the day-to-day tasks it takes to run a local MSU Extension office and the county 4-H program. If there were enough hours in the day, she would enjoy participating in a variety of projects and experiences she did not do as a 4-H youth member. Perrone’s big accomplishment was she successfully trained 63 4-H volunteers this fall with the updated financial management practices and policies.

In addition, Perrone’s internship has provided her experience with:

  • The breadth of programming MSU Extension does across Michigan
  • Working in an office setting
  • Teamwork
  • Non-for-profit financial management practices
  • Completing internal audits of financial statements
  • Using various vouchers and forms
  • Creating and adapting spreadsheets for record-keeping
  • Time management

Working with student interns is a win-win for the student and the organizations involved. I always learn something new from an intern. An internship provides hands-on career exploration and workforce preparation experience. Think about the possibilities! MSU's Career Services Network has a variety of resources available related to internships.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2015 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.

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