Even though the sun is shining, the chill of winter is in the air on Villanova’s campus! This seems like a good time to look back and share some memories from a time when things were warmer. This past summer, many of our current students spent their break from the classroom in the workplace putting their learning into action! The Leaders’ Lounge caught up with two students who spent their summers completing internships. Here’s what they had to say about their experiences:
Dave Grady – New Britain Township
I interned at New Britain Township (NBT) in Chalfont, PA. Part of this internship was funded through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development. As an intern at NBT, I performed many ad-hoc assignments. For example, I performed research around the possibility of creating a paid firefighting department and I also explored the benefits and downsides of using a single trash hauler in the community. In addition to the research, I also polled NBT residents, compiled the data, and analyzed the results. In addition to this research, I performed administrative tasks, such as assisting residents, research, and organizing data for the GIS system. In addition, I sat in on several Council meetings and took minutes.
I learned many valuable skills, but I believe one of the most valuable was learning how to work with elected officials. Until this internship, I was not entirely familiar with the role of the elected officials in relation to local government administration. The elected officials are an extension of the public, and understanding their role is important to the success of the administrator, the elected officials, and the community as a whole.
An internship can be an extremely valuable experience for anyone pursuing any career. You can read all of the books and studies out there, but it cannot replace the value of seeing the theories in practice. My internship experience taught me many of the intangibles that cannot be found in books. It also reaffirmed my desire to pursue a career in public service.
Emilia Allen – Global Philadelphia Association
My fellowship was with the Global Philadelphia Association (GPA): the Global Philadelphia Association is a Pennsylvania nonprofit, 501(c)(3)-certified organization. Founded by nine institutions in 2010, it has grown to over 150 members today. Its mission is to assist – and encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged, in one form or another, in international activity in the Greater Philadelphia Region, to promote the development of an international consciousness within the Region, and to enhance the Region’s global profile.
I was a research fellow focused on the City of Philadelphia’s bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage City. In this role, I conducted research on the policies and processes for UNESCO nomination, attended events and meetings with the City of Philadelphia stakeholders, created publication and development materials concerning the project – parts of the prospectus for the Organization of World Heritage Cities, brochures, newsletter articles, memos – I also wrote a grant for the organization. I have since been hired by GPA and am now the World Heritage Coordinator.
The most valuable part of the experience was the mentorship I received from GPA’s Executive Director, Zabeth Teelucksingh. The opportunity to have a seat at the table of one of Philadelphia’s greatest legacy projects, to be encouraged to share my ideas, and to interact with the people who care about Philadelphia’s future has shaped the way I see leadership. Leaders champion their team members, create connections, and believe in collective success. Zabeth as shown me that.
Those projects that are bigger than yourself – the ones that impact communities, acknowledge progenitors and provide for future generations are the ones to be a part of. My experience at GPA has helped guide me towards this realization.
Interested in an internship? Watch the MPA newsletter and the Leaders’ Lounge job board for opportunities, or check with your academic advisor.