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  • mrbrefast 9:21 pm on December 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cellular phones, direct democracy, End of internship, , , publication   

    Ending my ICMA experience; publication from my internship 

    At the end of a 6 month experience, I am wrapping things up here at ICMA.  There are software bugs to either deal with, or pass to the Technology Project Manager.  There are aspects of other projects which all need to be passed off to the respective proper employees who will continue and build upon what I did.  Due to recent changes in personnel, a lot of my time recently has been (and will continue to be, until this Friday) spent showing folks how to properly use the Knowledge Network as staff who have administrative privileges, rather than as a regular user.


    During the course of my time here, I have gained a much deeper appreciation for the very specific problems and pitfalls faced by local governments everywhere, at a level of specificity I never imagined possible.  I have previously blogged here about very, VERY particular problems faced by governments that I got to learn about the nature of while also learning how one might go about fixing or solving them, and that made for a very interesting experience indeed.  The biggest benefit to being involved with the new Knowledge Network here was being at the nexus of so many different initiatives, from public safety improvement initiatives to international development work, to everything in between.  It was all routed through the website, and our users asked questions about all manner of concerns, both within the work that ICMA has already gotten involved in, and to other areas which we hadn’t even considered before; it all made for a dynamic work environment.  Having the office building itself be located near Union Station was also a great aspect to an internship for an AU student (it is on the Red Line of the Metro, and not very far from Tenleytown, making working half a day on Tuesdays this fall, followed by class in the evening, a viable possibility).  In many ways, I learned quite a lot at ICMA, and am grateful for the opportunity to have been there.  Tellingly, amongst the most important lessons learned were those of “yes I do want to work in a non-profit of some sort” and the same time “no, I do not want to work in government at any level,” just based on closely learning what is involved (I like traveling too much to stay in one place!).


    Finally, though I will have to edit this in upon publication in the coming weeks, the following is the link to my final publication from ICMA, regarding Cell Phones and Direct Democracy, is as follows:

    (link forthcoming in early 2011)


    Thanks to the AU Career Center for allowing me to blog here, and good luck to all those in-progress and prospective interns out there!

  • mrbrefast 7:35 pm on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , meetings, publication,   

    Social media: fun for personal use, but important for professional use too 

    By even writing this blog post, I am participating in one kind of social media in a semi-professional way (given that it is for the Career Center), but that serves as an introduction to the topic at hand.  About a month ago, I was published for the second time here at work, as one of the authors of a report entitled Local Government Use of Social Media to Prepare for Emergencies.  As the title implies, the report looks into the innovations of several local governments in making use of social media as part of their comprehensive emergency management plans.  Examples of this include things like using Twitter for updates about inclement weather and power outages; using Facebook pages to update the community on the progress of snowplows; and then having short blog posts reminding citizens to have enough water and food on hand during an emergency situation.  As a side note, but one worth mentioning, this entire process of using social media has some serious ethical implications of equal provision of emergency management services for citizens of lesser economic means; bearing this in mind, the report is written very clearly as a suggestion to include social media as a valuable addition to the emergency management services of a municipality, meaning those other services (such as having a toll-free hotline for contact) need to be continued as well.


    This is a very professional (as opposed to personal) use of social media, by local government, but it also serves as some good indications of why it is worth getting involved in social media in a presentable way, for the purposes of networking and improving one’s chances of making the right impression to get a job.  As such, I have a short list, based on in-house discussions, of how social media figures into a job interview or working at an internship.


    (More …)

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