I’m not really feeling the traditional narrative form today, so what you’re about to witness are just my thoughts, just my thoughts – right or wrong…(for someone who isn’t really a big Jay-Z fan, I am always a bit perplexed when his lyrics are the first to come to my mind when I’m looking for a quote).
School Is Helpful: Who would have thought that going to school would have provided you with real world skills and knowledge? Many times in my first year of the MPA program I thought “Yeah, this theoretical stuff is good and all, but is this really what happens in the real world?” Yes, yes it does. In only two weeks of my internship I have been in over 20 meetings and I have found a direct connection to something I learned in class and a conversation that happened in that meeting. I know this sounds a bit trite, but I honestly can’t even properly express how helpful the classes I have taken have prepared me for this internship AND given me the confidence to know that I can do this as a job next year. I know I talked about this in my last blog post, but I bring it up again because it’s just that important to tell future students and my fellow classmates.
Government Can Be Innovative: I came into this internship thinking that all of the rules, policies, ordinances, statutes, etc.. would be very restrictive in allowing government to be innovative. In many ways, I was right. There are just some things that administration can’t do, even if it would make their jobs easier. But, I have also witnessed the Town of Chapel Hill create brand new programs for employees and students that will greatly benefit the town. It helped me realize that government can still work within their confines and be creative and innovative to make life better for their residents.
Keymunication: Government is complex (duh) but you don’t really realize how much work it takes to coordinate all of the departments, tasks, and wishes of council until you have to sit through all of those meetings to coordinate that work. You quickly realize that the core of any government success or failure comes down to communication.
Acronyms Matter: Time is precious. When you are in your 5th meeting of the day, energy low, discussing a full agenda that can’t fully fit into the space of an hour, you need to be efficient with your words. Government is full of nomenclature and when talking about any topic that nomenclature will be used. To save time and precious saliva, acronyms must be used. Acronyms are the lifeblood of government work. Even if it is only two words, making an acronym is worth considering. If all I do is create an acronym during my time here, it will be considered an unmitigated success.
Ok, I’m a bit surprised I had that much to talk about coming off a short Memorial Day Week, but those were my thoughts. Until next week folks.