This week has been great. I’ve had a blast and learned a ton. And so many neat things happened, I am not sure where to begin. For that reason, we’re just going to jump into a summary of my activities and I’ll elaborate as my word count allows. If you want to know the really fun stuff, skip to paragraph four.
I had the opportunity to serve as an assessor for an assessment center this week. It was a two-day excursion with one day set aside for training and the next for assessing candidates. I met some very knowledgeable fellows, and from them and the role play experience I partook in, the importance of the assessment center process seeped into me. As I spoke with the Town Manager about the experience later in the week, I told him that I now understand why the traditional resume and interview model isn’t a complete picture. Through it, there is no evaluation of someone’s leadership style or interpersonal skills. Thanks for this opportunity goes out to Steve Straus at Developmental Associates, my supervisor Lisa Markland, and Town Manager Joe Moore.
I also had the great chance to sit in on a Wake County IT meeting about regional broadband connectivity. For those not aware of the contention in the state about municipally owned broadband, just know that the NC General Assembly has passed legislation that makes it extremely difficult for a local government to provide internet services to its citizens. This is something that I am very interested in and even wrote a paper about in a recent Ethics of Public Policy course. These meetings are going to continue throughout the summer, so more on this issue may come later.
However, after all of this great learning, the most fun I had this week was being able to hang out with Crew A of the Town of Zebulon Fire Department. Why is that you ask? They let me play with all their awesome equipment. I put on all 70lbs of the fireman suit, walked around in it, and shot a firehose. You can watch that happen here.
I was able to help them out with their ladder equipment testing aka they let me man the controls. I moved the ladder of a firetruck up, down, left, right, retracted the ladder, and extended it. I even landed the ladder onto two rooftops and the top of a carport. When it was all done, I was given the word to put it back onto the truck. I rode in a firetruck, strapped in, horns and lights, while responding to a call of smoke seen in a neighborhood. Lastly, I went with them to two inspections. One of which took place at a restaurant, and rumors started to float that I was an undercover health inspector or immigration officer. I guess my controlled demeanor can be deceiving at times?
Okay Adora, you did a lot of fun stuff this week but what does this have to do with your internship?
Thanks for asking reader. If I want to be involved with city or county management one day, which I do, this practical knowledge will help me better understand the departments I would be managing. Often times, department heads and staff members feel disconnected from their municipal leader because the one person aimed at watching over a number of vastly different departments doesn’t understand their daily work and demands. Meeting with these people one-on-one, undergoing the same tasks that they do, will provide me with an advantageous perspective to my future administration.