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Internship Experiences


Name: Todd Andersen

Year: Second-Year Student

Current Employer: MPA Program, University of Utah

Job Title: Graduate Assistant

Where you interned: City Manager's Office, West Valley City


This summer, MPA student Todd Andersen had the opportunity to work in the City Manager's Office of West Valley City as a management analyst intern. As part of his internship, he oversaw the painting of a community mural in a West Valley City park. To help with the project, the city commissioned artist Roger Whiting, who is the founder of the organization Community Arts of Utah. Roger worked with local kids from the Salt Lake County Housing Authority to help design and paint the mural. The mural, located on a large concrete retaining wall in the park, is a colorful cartoon map of West Valley City and the neighborhood around the park. The mural project gained media attention from Deseret News/KSL, and West Valley City Journal. Learn more about the community mural project by browsing the articles and photos below: 




                                                                                                                                                                                        Photos: Hans Koepsell, Deseret News



Name: Tony Summers

Current Employer: Salt Lake County Human Resources           

Job Title: HR Specialist

Where you interned: 2nd District Juvenile Court

Year of Graduation: 2016


 How has obtaining an MPA degree from the University of Utah helped you in your career? I believe that being an MPA has sent a message to hiring managers (especially other MPA alumni) that I’m committed to public service, that I value learning and improvement, and that I have a foundation of knowledge which I can build on. Receiving the MPA gives me common ground with many of the people I respect and wish to model in my professional circle who are also MPAs.

What skills learned from your internship were most important in your career development? My internship gave me the opportunity to observe and work within a government agency.  I was able to see how that agency interacts with other government agencies, gain experience working with public officials, and learn the importance of equity, professionalism, and ethics where the government and public meet. That understanding has given context to my current work in government, and has allowed me to assess the environment around me.

What advice would you give to incoming students? I would encourage incoming students to make as many friendships and connections as possible within the program; with alumni, classmates, and with faculty and instructors.  I’ve had opportunities to help and be helped as I’ve moved along in my career, often by classmates or former MPA alums. There are great professional role models within the University of Utah MPA community.

 Name: Rawleigh Greenhalgh

 Current Employer: Salt Lake City       

  Job Title: Office Tech II, Housing and Neighborhood Development

 Where you Interned: Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development

  Year of Graduation: 2015


How has obtaining an MPA degree from the University of Utah helped you in your career? An MPA has prepared me by teaching my the basic and necessary skills for working in the public sector. The public sector is sooooo different from the private and you just cannot understand it until you work in the public sector. It has also put me into contact with like-minded people who want to make a difference. 

What skills learned from your internship were most important in your career development?  Many of the skills that have helped me in my career development have had to do less with what was explicitly taught and more to do with the people I worked with. I learned to be more accepting of others' viewpoints. I learned management skills, HR skills, and economic development skills that are valuable for any government job. Understanding the big picture of government has really helped me. 

What advice would you give to incoming students? My advice would be to network as much as possible. Your time goes by fast and it is important to make the best of it. Take advantage of the opportunities given you. Get an internship in something that interests you. Take classes that interest you. It is good to focus on a specific area, however, it is also good to have a knowledge of all aspects of public administration. 

Last Updated: 10/4/16