By Karina Delgado

I have always been very grateful for all the opportunities that the School of Public and International Affairs has presented to me over the past three years. One of my favorite opportunities was my internship that I did during last spring and over the summer. I had the opportunity to work for the City Hall of Social Circle. I was able to see first-hand how a local government works. During my time at City Hall, I helped do research for the cities upcoming fiscal budget, I was put on the GICH Committee and the Census Count Committee. My favorite part of my job was getting to work with the Zoning and Planning Department. I never realized how much work goes into a City. Social Circle is a very small City so I can’t imagine what it must be like for a larger City. While I worked for the Planning and Zoning Department, I got to help with the Georgia Initiative Community Housing program. This is a three-year program that helps cities identify code violations in order to adequately provide their citizens with help and support needed to get their houses up to standard code. Because this was the first year Social Circle participated in GICH, I was able to create excel sheets that the City will use for the remainder of the program. When my internship ended at the end of September, I was offered a job by the financial director and continue to work for Social Circle.

My internship has given me the chance to see what kinds of jobs are available to people with my degree which has been super important for me since I am about to graduate from the University of Georgia in May. Although I don’t see myself working in local government soon, it did give me an understanding of the things that go on in order for a City to properly function.

As I mentioned before, I was able to find this internship through SPIA. SPIA has many internships available for its students and it was easy for me to find this internship with the help of the internship advisor, Adam Paige. My internship was through the Experiential Learning Program which allowed me to get paid and have a traveling stipend. It was nice having a job that paid well and gave me good experience at the same time. For students like me who can’t afford to have an unpaid internship, this was a wonderful program to participate in. I have always thought that internships are important for students to have because it gives you a chance to see what kinds of jobs you are interested in and it gives you connections for the future.