Summer 2017 Intern
Before October 2016, I had not heard of the National Academy of Public Administration. I started looking into it just to learn more, not expecting it to turn into a summer internship. But I am so glad it did. While there was a myriad of tasks I completed, from helping make contact lists for the Governing Across the Divide events this fall to summarizing case studies to picking out clips from old interviews, I spent the majority of my summer (about a month and a half) doing research on the past 25 years of the organization’s history.
This task was daunting, especially as it was for a summary of the Academy in honor of its 50th Anniversary, and one that could not have been done without other interns. It involved going through and organizing financial statements, archived webpages (going back to the Academy’s first website), and 25 years of Academy reports.
Through this task, I refined and improved my research skills, my teamwork skills, and my analysis skills. But it’s not what I got better at that is important. It’s what I learned. I learned more about the importance of public administration. I learned about the myriad of ways in which organizations like the Academy (though, there is no other organization quite like the Academy) can be influential and helpful. I learned more about the work that needs to be done to help solve problems and the dedication of the people that do it.
The latter was also made known to me while going through old interviews from the 40th anniversary. Through this task, I learned not only what I just expounded on, but the diverse range and backgrounds of people who work in public administration and government, and the different paths people can take to get there.
So, to sum up, my time at the National Academy of Public Administration? I learned a lot. I developed a new, more complex, more nuanced view of public administration. I began to fully understand the importance of it. I worked with some great people. I developed my skills. A summer well spent.