Intern Program Schedule below.
A Favorite From 2015
Midland County Internship Program
Participants Speak to Overwhelming Success
If Midland County Commissioner Randy Prude had to pick one of his favorite programs from this past year, no doubt the summer 2015 internship program would top his list.
In 2014, Prude attended a meeting of the Midland City Council, which included an introduction of the city’s summer interns.
“I’m never beyond borrowing a good idea,” Prude joked. “I always look for ways to encourage young people, so I brought the idea to our Commissioners Court.” The Court “wholeheartedly embraced” Prude’s suggestion, and the wheels were set in motion with Bailey Lively, Midland County human resources director, and Jenny Hilton, county judge court administrator, taking the lead.
“Really bright, young college students applied and spent the summer being a blessing to our county family as well as being blessed by us,” Prude shared.
“As we all know, not many citizens have any idea what county government does, but now these young people not only know what we do, but many ended up being inspired to the point of volunteering for several of our volunteer opportunities! Some may even choose a career with county government! We look forward to continuing and expanding the program next year,” Prude stated.
County Progress asked Hilton and Lively to share program details including the chronology.
|TIMELINE OF EVENTS CREATING|
|MIDLAND COUNTY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM|
|May 2, 2014||Request of Midland County Commissioner Randy Prude to implement an internship program.|
|June 2, 2014||Budget request submitted for intern program.|
|Sept. 8, 2014||Budget approved with intern funding.|
|Feb. 2, 2014||Contacted and met with high school and college advisors in the area about the program.|
|March 6, 2015||Jenny Hilton and Bailey Lively started building the program and paperwork (ongoing).|
|April 6, 2015||Openings were posted, and applications started to arrive.|
|April 7, 2015||Selected an interview board of Jenny Hilton, Bailey Lively and Judge Dean Rucker, presiding judge for the Seventh Administrative Judicial Region.|
|May 2, 2015||Invited department heads and elected officials to assist with interview process to receive diverse input. These specific department heads and elected officials assisted each morning and afternoon.|
|May 8, 2015||Last day applications were accepted (23 received).|
|May 19 & 21, 2015||Interviews with 17 interns. Each interviewer was given a folder with questions developed by the human resources director for notetaking and scoring.|
|May 22, 2015||Hiring decisions made and applicants called (two alternates were chosen in case someone declined an offer).|
|May 23, 2015||Interns accepted offer.|
|May 25, 2015||Each department was given a folder with interns’ schedules and a survey reviewing each intern’s work.|
|June 8, 2015||Interns started work.|
|June 9, 2015||During orientation, interns were given a folder with their schedule and surveys for review of each department.|
|June 10, 2015||Each intern was staggered to work in various departments: county and district clerks’ offices, tax office, library, purchasing, auditor’s office, justice of the peace, and juvenile detention and probation each for a week.|
|June 25/2015&July 21, 2015||Every four weeks we hosted a lunch with department heads and elected officials who were not participating in the program so they could learn about those departments.|
|Aug. 3, 2015||The last week we arranged to take the interns on tours of other department buildings: road and bridge, pretrial, sheriff’s office, jail, adult probation, emergency management, the county cemetery, and the county’s multipurpose facility – The Horseshoe.|
|Aug. 5, 2015||Last day worked.|
CP: Please explain the program basics such as the rotation schedule.
Each intern spent one week (Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) in a department. The next week they were in another department. Very rarely did the interns overlap.
CP: What is the benefit to the county?
One of the things we’ve noticed among the college-aged population is they don’t know a lot about how county government operates. This gave us an opportunity to reach out to this demographic and help them learn about local government while providing assistance to our departments. All the departments were glad to have them and planned to have them do a variety of tasks which benefited the county in many ways. The interns helped with general clerk duties, participated in magistrate duties, accompanied with inquests, and observed court hearings, evictions and trials. They also helped reconcile the county’s fixed asset and inventory lists, as well as assisted with audits, new software training, entered the New Year’s budget, assisted with mail runs, processed motor vehicle registrations, assisted with the entire jury summons process, attended voir dire and arraignments, and helped revise a policy and procedure manual.
CP: What is the benefit to the interns?
Each intern made many contacts that will help them with their future endeavors, and they also learned not just how the county works, but many behind-the-scene-aspects the public rarely sees. They learned what the county really offers its community as a public service. In fact, one intern started volunteering on weekends after her first week in juvenile detention. This department had such an impact on her that she wanted to give back during her free time. After the internship, two interns were certain they wanted to become lawyers, one knew she wanted to follow a career in juvenile probation, and another wanted to pursue the field of social work.
CP: How was the program funded?
This program was funded from the approved Commissioners Court budget in the general fund, which allowed the departments to participate in the program without using funds from their own budgets. The interns worked 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday with a one-hour break for lunch, which totaled approximately 28 hours a week.
CP: Was the program successful? Will you be repeating the program next summer?
All eight interns stated that they felt this internship would help them pursue their professional opportunities after college and that this internship more than met their expectations, so I believe this year’s program was highly successful. In their survey, all eight of our departments stated that they would like to participate in next year’s intern program, and they said they would hire at least one intern if they had a position and funding.
Intern Program Schedule: 12intern program
“The amount I learned and was able to participate in far exceeded my expectations. Being able to see how a variety of departments connect and function made this an excellent internship.” ~Helen Gunn^
“Every week our supervisors went above and beyond to show us things we wouldn’t normally see, and I had the opportunity to gain valuable information and confidence in my skills and interests.” ~Kasey Chester
“I particularly value the opportunity to see where I was education-wise to where I need to be in order to be successful in the workplace.” ~Shane Spencer
“I think I would like to pursue a career in juvenile probation, and this week I got to see probation as well as detention. This gave me a better understanding of the juvenile justice system.” ~ Ashton Sherman
“I expected to learn how government works here in Texas, and I learned more than expected. I got a chance to see behind the scenes and find out what goes into most departments.” ~Nicky Stewart
“As a future social worker I feel like I will now be more prepared to help my clients with legal issues.” ~Andrea Bartley
“The amount that we learned was amazing. Each department showed us how they worked within the county.” ~Jacques Duet#
*Abby Rankin was offered and accepted a part-time temporary job with our purchasing department for the remainder of the summer.
^Helen Gunn began volunteering at juvenile detention after her first week of the internship and continued every weekend until she returned to school.
#Jacques Duet worked a part-time temporary position for our facilities department rounding out his summer.