Interns Enrich Performance Program

April 30, 2021 by Beth Amann

Interns Enrich Performance Program

Fulton County, Georgia, is a leader in data-driven government and has greatly grown their team’s capacity with the addition of interns.

In the March 2021 Performance Community of Practice, Mike Rowicki, director of strategic planning and performance management, shared how their department gained buy-in from executive leadership to invest in their program to recruit and develop full-time employees.

Fulton’s tips for starting an internship program:

  1. Form partnerships with colleges and universities to create a pipeline of qualified candidates.
  2. Use the resources in your community to expand your reach.
  3. Don’t underestimate your interns’ abilities – empower and mentor them.
  4. Look for your superstars. Interns can become leaders in your community and ensure a strong ROI for your program.

Matt Sandgren and Arielle Lee are examples of the return-on-investment governments programs can receive from an internship program. After going through an internship full of what Matt described as "definitely not busy work," the two former interns are now full-time employees with the county and are managing their own team of interns. Matt and Arielle discussed their paths from intern to FTE and how it allowed each to find a career in government performance management they would not have otherwise considered.

Matt and Arielle both cite the trust placed in them as interns as a motivating factor in accepting full-time employment with the county. Arielle shares she was greeted with welcoming hands and was treated as full-time staff, working on projects that challenged her and supported her learning in graduate school.

Interns-turned-employees like Matt and Arielle have enriched the Fulton County data program and community at large.

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