Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

City of Austin Mayor's Office

Spring 2018

Position: Planning Policy Intern
Student: Geography Senior

This semester, I had the opportunity to intern at Mayor Steve Adler’s office as a Planning Policy Intern. The experience has been immensely rewarding, and I cannot begin to describe all that I have learned throughout the semester. Working in a political office is something I did not anticipate doing, as I wanted to be more involved in the private sector. However, I am grateful I had this opportunity to learn more about city government and how it is run, and I recommend the position to anyone who is interested in local government or planning.

The Mayor’s office can seem a bit hectic at first, as there are so many things going on at once that it can be difficult to catch up with the pace. However, once I got into the swing of things, it was an exciting place to be. On a typical day, I could expect conversations about CodeNext in the air, and several citizens, businesspersons, and professionals in other offices filtering through for meetings. Despite the high-level of information coming to and leaving the office on any given day, the staff is incredibly friendly and willing to aid in any questions or interests the interns may have.

On any given day, I get into the office and immediately check my email. One of my biggest duties is to schedule meetings for my supervisor, who meets with several people a day. After I check my email and set up upcoming meetings, I check in with my supervisor to see if he needs immediate help with anything. Some projects and tasks he may ask help on is to research proposed zoning changes and upcoming agenda items in order to document possible reasons for public pushback. Because many of the items that come to Council and Commissions largely affect the residents of Austin, it is very important to understand why people may oppose such changes. When I am not doing such tasks assigned by my supervisor at the beginning of the day, I am working on several on-going projects which aid in determining a timeline on the adoption process of several small-area and long-range plans for the city. These help the office in keeping track of the many changes Austin wants to make in the next several decades. Overall, my duties have taught me a lot about how the city makes changes, and all the factors that go into plan implementation. I can easily say that I have gained a lot of knowledge and skills related to my field that I do not think I would have gained if I did not participate in this internship.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508