MPA Student Blog

Welcome to the Carolina MPA student blog, created as a forum for students to communicate about their professional internships and related experiences.

The MPA program at UNC-Chapel Hill educates leaders for local, state, and federal governments and nonprofit organizations. Students in the program work closely with School of Government faculty members to develop critical thinking and team-building skills, while engaging in practical scholarship that has real-world results.

Read the latest posts:

Summer has come to an end…

Posted 1 year ago

This week will mark the last week of my full-time intern status at Communities in Schools, but I am not saying goodbye just yet. As a dual degree student I will still be working with the organization to complete the … Continued

Not Goodbye, Perhaps a See You Later

Posted 1 year ago

Well my internship is quickly coming to an end here at Wolf Trap and it is bittersweet to say the least. Coworkers and friends keep asking me “Are you excited to go back to school?” and my response has been … Continued

Well, That’s a Wrap

Posted 1 year ago

Well, my internship has ended! It has been a wonderful learning experience! In my time with the Guilford County Resource and Referral Center, I spent a lot of time working hand-in-hand with nonprofits helping them to build their capacity, develop … Continued

Week 11 & 12: Surgery

Posted 1 year ago

This is it.  As the title implies, the blog series is ending, my PWE is winding down, and, yes, the summer is over.  I’ll be sticking around and staying with Wake’s Budget and Management Services in a much more limited … Continued

Adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

Posted 1 year ago

Today marks my last departmental meeting as a summer intern in the Town of Hillsborough. Like the beginning of every meeting, Daphna asked us to share important events. For the month of August, we celebrate four work anniversaries, two wedding … Continued

NPS Scorecard

Posted 1 year ago

Last week my Deputy Superintendent casually mentioned that before I leave he wanted me to take a look at the NPS Scorecard and he would have me do some work for the Park related to it. When he first said … Continued

Interactive Workshops

Posted 1 year ago

I can’t believe that my internship is almost over— I feel like there is still so much work to be done! Last Friday, Dr. Palmer and I taught a Grant-Writing Workshop in partnership with the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium. It was … Continued

Week 10: The Costs of Growth

Posted 1 year ago

My hometown of Richburg, South Carolina was chosen by Giti Tire, an appropriately named tire manufacturing company, as the home for a $560 Million plant back in 2016. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster called it a “game changer” at the … Continued

Back to the Grind…And Only a Few Weeks Left

Posted 1 year ago

Well, I’m back from a very relaxing vacation! I missed posting last week, but a little beach time was much appreciated! As I get back into the swing of things, I was reflecting on how much I have learned during … Continued

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

Posted 1 year ago

This week has been a week of me playing catch up after going on a family vacation. Before I left I had a list of items that I needed to complete such as creating a careers page for the CIS … Continued

Public and Non Profit Cooperation

Posted 1 year ago

I have mentioned this before, but here at Wolf Trap we are an interesting park because of our interpretation of the National Park Service mission. Unlike most parks that focus primarily on preservation of natural and cultural resources, we also … Continued

Week 9: N-C-L-G-B-A

Posted 1 year ago

It was a HUGE week. I’m talking a massive display of local government budgetary wizardry.  Last week the sleepy beach town of Pine Knoll Shores hosted the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association’s (NCLGBA; boy that is quite an acronym) … Continued

Town of Hillsborough Call Center

Posted 1 year ago

Call Number 22:   Vendor Representative: Hello, This is Supply Vendor. Siri, speaking. Nathalie: Good Afternoon, Siri. My name is Nathalie Santos and I’m calling on behalf of the Town of Hillsborough. (Short pause). Siri: Okay. Nathalie: I’m calling to … Continued

Fireworks at the National Mall

Posted 1 year ago

I did not post a blog last week because it was Independence Day, but that does not mean I wasn’t working. I spent the 4th working a 16 hour shift to support the National Mall’s huge fireworks display. My Deputy … Continued

Week 8: Bread Crumbs

Posted 1 year ago

Last week was a lot of fun and games, and I strongly suggest you check out last week’s blog here; it had dogs, cats, and (good?) humor. This week was different; this week was work. Yes, it was a four-day … Continued

Moving On & Rebuilding

Posted 1 year ago

Now that the Nonprofit Management Institute is over for the summer, we have shifted our focus to the top-secret project and a new project with a local nonprofit organization. For the purposes of the blog, I’m just going to refer … Continued

Work Holiday

Posted 1 year ago

The Holiday and rollout of a new Procurement Policy greatly reduced my workload this week. So, I decided to create my first dashboard! It has all the essentials: pivot tables, pivot charts, if functions, iferror functions (because you can’t be too … Continued

Week 7: The One with Dogs

Posted 1 year ago

Week 7: The One with Dogs Okay, I know this is a shamelessly clickbait-y title that doubles as a Friends pun. I know what I’ve done. But, hey I want to have the most post views at the end of … Continued

And That’s A Wrap

Posted 1 year ago

It’s hard to believe that the Nonprofit Summer Institute is already over! These five weeks have flown by and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of these nonprofit leaders. The discussion that occurred every week … Continued

Getting the full scope

Posted 1 year ago

To capture a more holistic view of local government, I started attending public meetings.  Despite Anne Williamson’s research, public presence during these meetings is abysmal. Of the four I attended, only Parks and Recreation had public comments. And, I can’t say … Continued

Grant Writing 101

Posted 1 year ago

Hello Everyone!! This past week has been one for the books! I had the opportunity to complete my first GRANT APPLICATION! While it was not for a huge amount of money, if we receive this funding, it will make a … Continued

Department of Interior Visit

Posted 1 year ago

No blog last week because I was on vacation (back in the great state of N.C., in Professor Stenberg’s old stomping grounds the Outer Banks!). The week before that, however, was very exciting. One thing I really love about this … Continued

Week 6: Democracy is Messy

Posted 1 year ago

I know, there’s a catchy title this week… But First Democracy is messy. I’ve lost count of the number of times Wake County Commissioner James West has said that phrase since I became a part of the county’s staff. West … Continued