Now the real work begins

Marana’s interns share their summer experiences.

Anthony HunterThe honeymoon is over.

These past few weeks, filled with exclusive, all-access granted tours and free lunches, had to come to an end sometime. Nevertheless, there is a tinge of sadness to it all. I feel a bit like the kid at Christmas who starts crying after he’s opened his presents, totally missing the point of the celebration.

Department rotations were a blast, but now the real work begins. Suddenly, as if by some stroke of magic, Microsoft Outlook has begun populating my calendar with meeting after meeting. I don’t know if I’ve ever planned my schedule much beyond what’s for lunch, but now I can tell you that I’ll be sitting in on agenda prep meetings every Wednesday for the foreseeable future.

It actually will be a lot of fun. Call me a nerd if you like (you won’t be the first), but now that the rubber is finally hitting the road. I’m getting more and more excited about projects I will have the opportunity to work on.

To start, my fellow intern Heath and I are responsible for the League of Cities and Towns conference booth. We already have solid ideas, but we’re basically representing the Town of Marana to the rest of the state, so it’s got to be good. I know Marana’s booths have been exceptional in the past, so the pressure is on. Heavy lies the crown, as they say.

We’re also going to have the chance to take a stab at some document management software clean-up, and help Steve Miller of Marana Regional Airport on a request for proposal process. And those are just the first course.

As far as internship projects go, these are prime cuts. There are good experiences to be had here this summer, above and beyond the coveted resume-fillers of most internships. I’m ecstatic about looking into the supervisory control and data acquisition system in the utilities department, in part because I originally thought it sounded like a mythological monster from Ancient Greece (which, after learning its true purpose, maybe it is).

This kind of work is fun for local government wonks like me. Even though it may not include chauffeured tours of the Town and burgers and fries with our generous department heads, it’s the kind of stuff that government really runs on, and that’s why I’m here. Amidst all the glamour, I’d almost forgotten.

Anthony Hunter is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the University of Arizona. 

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