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Final Hours

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By Rafael Baptista, on July 31, 2014

Tomorrow I will pack up my office and turn off the lights for the last time at Catawba County. These last ten weeks have been some of (if not the best) weeks in terms of my professional development. I have gotten to work on 19 interesting and challenging projects alongside an inspiring group of skilled and dedicated professionals. In my final blog post I wanted to showcase two highlights of my professional work experience.

Learning New Skills and Subject Areas

When I began my internship back in May my knowledge of fleet management and fuel efficiency as well as police vehicles was limited if not non-existent. But 10 weeks and three fleet projects later, I feel much more knowledgeable and comfortable with that subject area. I am definitely not knowledgeable enough to go manage a fleet tomorrow, but if working as a budget or management analyst I would feel comfortable in working with a fleet division. I have also learned a tremendous amount about other subjects that prior to this summer I knew little, if anything, about. I think that broad learning is part of my attraction to local government. I like the idea of being able to dabble into a variety of service areas.

Working with Tremendous Professionals

The greatest part of my professional work experience was the people that I got to work alongside. I worked with individuals ranging from the County Manager to 911 dispatchers to department heads to administrative assistants to program coordinators and everyone in- between. These individuals ranged from seasoned managers and department heads to people with high school diplomas early in their careers. Despite all their differences, there was one recurring theme among all of them: a profound desire to serve the citizens of Catawba County. It was a real honor working with all these professionals and I will miss them. Their passion for public service reinforced and grew my own passion for public service.

I bid farewell to Catawba County, knowing that I have grown professionally and personally as a result of this amazing experience. I am truly grateful for all the amazing professionals at Catawba County for providing me such a rich experience. While I am sad to be leaving this chapter in my life, I do look forward to starting the 2nd year of the MPA program in a few short weeks. It’s been a pleasure writing this blog and I encourage you to stay in touch with me via email, twitter, and/or LinkedIn.

Thank you

Rafael Baptista

Follow Me on Twitter @RafaelBaptista5

Connect with Me on LinkedIn

Tags: professionalism | Categories: Catawba County, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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2 Responses to “Final Hours”

  1. Arnaldo Negron

    Hello my name is Arnaldo. i currently work for NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command) at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine as an Electrical Engineer. I am looking into the MPA program, which I believe can help me obtain my goal which is to become a Department Head of the current code I work for. Can you give me some advice or your opinion as to how to approach my decision of enrolling in the MPA@UNC? Thank you and enjoy the rest of the summer.

  2. Rafael Baptista


    I am currently in the residential program so I am not in the best position to provide guidance related to the online program. I know that they do have a fair amount of military members in that format. I recommend you visiting this site which talks about military issues related to the online program. I would also suggest talking to the online admissions director Joy Jackson.

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