Happy summer, everyone, and thank you for joining me on my journey through Wake County Housing and Transportation. For the next couple of months, I’ll be working on a rental assistance program, and the county’s affordable housing strategic plan – huge passions for me. This past school year I wrote two papers on affordable rental housing in Chapel Hill, so my internship is a blessing, and natural extension of what I’ve been studying, and ideally the kind of work I want to engage in after I graduate. I’ll try not to flood the blog with too much housing jargon – details about Area Median Income, and HUD regulations – but come on, y’all, you gotta admit it’s all pretty interesting. Some of my Planning classmates tell me that I’m really interested in real estate, which sounds like one of the most boring subjects in the world to me, but I guess if I’m getting into the minutiae of housing vouchers and zoning ordinances, then the shoe fits.
I’m also only one of six MPA students here at Wake County in downtown Raleigh, and I want to bring some of the stories of my other five classmates to you as we go along. Our experience as a collective makes our time unique from most of our friends, and will enrich our internship and possibly handicap it in different ways. In our Organizational Theory course in the spring term, Professor Jacobson taught us the value of different frameworks for analyzing an organization. It seems worthwhile then to use micro and macro lenses when describing Wake County as an organization – talking from my personal perspective, but also relating those of my classmates in the same government, but in different departments, and our experience as a group. I’ve always been fascinated by relationships between people, and how individuals relate to a collective, so I’ll spend some time trying to boil down our different perspectives to show different dimensions of one workplace.
Lastly, I’ll probably go off on tangents about who knows what. I’m interested in how organizations network and collaborate, how leaders shape and are shaped by their teams, how governments at all different levels affect one another, and about a thousand other topics, some of which I’ll discover along the way. Part of the reason I volunteered to blog about my experience is that I’m terrible at being concise, as you can probably gather. This summer will be an adventure for both you and me through the class politics of housing, the dynamics of social groups within working groups, and learning to write memos instead of twenty page research papers. Buckle-up, buttercups, it’s gonna be a wild ride.