Pictured above: Maddie (Human Resources), Brady (Planning & Development), and Kylie (Sustainability)
Each year, Linn County offers a multitude of internship opportunities for students within many different departments. Through hands-on work experience and professional development opportunities, the students gain insight into what it’s like working for a local government and to see if it could be a potential career for them after graduation.
This year, Linn County is excited to welcome interns to the Board of Supervisors Office, the Secondary Road Department, Planning & Development, Human Resources, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Sustainability, Juvenile Detention & Diversion Services, and Linn County Public Health. These departments are providing valuable learning experiences for more than 17 students.
Board of Supervisors
In 2018, the Linn County Board of Supervisors hired their first intern Mahder Serekberhan and decided to create a fellowship program in her name for future students. Students accepted to participate in the fellowship work directly with members of the Board of Supervisors to gain real-world experiences in government and policy that may help them determine if a career in public service is the right one for them. This year’s 2022 Fellow is Camille. She is a senior at the University of Iowa dual enrolled in Master’s of Higher Education and Student Affairs and Master’s of Public Affairs.
“This summer I am looking to learn more about the intricacies of local government. I'm excited to see how my work as an intern contributes to tangible positive change in our community,” said Camille.
Fun fact: Camille once fell off a cliff in Peru and had to get an MRI while studying abroad!
Past Fellows include Kevin Drahos, Michelle Kumar, and Angelina Ramirez.
Secondary Road Department
Pictured above: Nicholas, Sara, and Issac
This summer, two college interns are working with the Secondary Road Department. Sara is a student at the University of Iowa majoring in Civil Engineering and Nicholas is a student at Iowa State University majoring in Material Engineering. Both interns are spending the summer working with the Survey Team whose primary activities include conducting a topographical survey and assisting our full time Engineering Technicians on project inspections.
“I’m looking forward to learning how civil engineering is applied in the real world through my internship with Linn County,” said intern Sara.
Fun facts: Sara is from Manta, Ecuador and Nicholas has a twin brother!
The Secondary Road Department also has two high school interns: Issac and Keira. They came to the County through the Workplace Learning Connection (WLC) through Kirkwood Community College. The WLC program is designed to connect students to job shadow opportunities in their community to help them gain real world experience in fields they may choose to pursue after graduation. Issac is currently shadowing staff on the survey team and Keira is shadowing mechanics in the main shop.
Planning & Development
Planning & Development has one intern joining them this summer. Brady is a student at the University of Iowa entering his second year of graduate school for the School of Planning and Public Affairs. He will be working to compile research and provide recommendations for future land use code reform in coordination with staff.
“I am looking forward to learning the details and nuances of land development code reform and better understand the different inter-related daily responsibilities of those within the Planning Office,” said Brady.
Human Resources (HR) also has two college-age interns. Maddie will be a senior at the University of Iowa and Lizzie will be a sophomore at the University of Iowa. Both interns are pursuing degrees in Human Resources.
“I am looking forward to learning about the different aspects of the HR department and how the concepts I learned in class are practically applied in the workplace,” said Maddie.
The HR interns will get a chance to experience as many facets of HR as possible during their internship. They will be doing projects associated with benefits, the employee recognition breakfast, and recruitment strategies, while also learning the importance of labor and employee relations.
Pictured above: Kennedy and Colleen
The Sheriff’s Office is hosting two interns this summer who will gain a variety of experience by working with five different divisions of the department including, Patrol, Jail, Civil, Rescue, and Transport. Working with multiple divisions will allow them to learn about the many things the Sheriff’s Office does and what services and assistance they can provide the public.
Their two interns are Kennedy who will be a sophomore at the University of North Georgia Military College and Colleen who will be a junior at the University of Northern Iowa. Both are hoping to gain valuable experience and a broader understanding of what the Sheriff’s Office does to help guide them toward their future career path.
Linn County Sustainability doesn’t have interns in the traditional sense, instead they partner with Green Iowa Americorps to host members throughout the year. This summer, two members are working with Sustainability: Ta’sje’ and Ayla.
Pictured above: Ta'sje'
Ta’sje’ is a senior at Coe College double majoring in Environmental Studies and Biology and has an Environmental Stewardship focus for Green Iowa Americorps. She will be working on outreach and education activities focused on environmental injustices and nature deficit disorder.
“I'm looking forward to learning more about sustainability and how to manage a sustainability project. I'm required to do outreach and education projects which very specifically tie into my long-term goals of diversifying the sustainability field by educating other members of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities about environmental injustice to empower them to get involved,” said Ta’sje’.
Pictured above: Ayla
Ayla recently graduated from Mount Mercy University with a Bachelors in Art. She is a Green Iowa Americorps – Land and Water Steward with a focus on maintaining and expanding the resources offered at the Fillmore Garden Resiliency Hub, as well as increasing the knowledge of and access to healthy foods within the community.
Sustainability also has a high school student from the Workplace Learning Connection. Kylie is a senior at Kennedy High School and after graduating, she plans to attend college and pursue a degree in engineering.
During her internship, Kylie shadows various team members and contributes to the development of their community projects and events. She is also developing the upcoming ´Sustainability Is:´ campaign, which aims to spread awareness of the different facets of sustainability in an attempt to educate the community on new ways they can incorporate sustainability into their lives.
Juvenile Detention & Diversion Services
Juvenile Detention & Diversion Services (JDDS) has two interns this summer: Maddie and Courtney. Both interns are seniors at the University of Iowa.
Pictured above: Maddie and Courtney
JDDS interns are treated like staff, as they shadow staff, and work their way into running a unit. They are allowed to use the behavioral management tools used by staff and work to build relationships and gain a solid grasp on programming. Interns also get some exposure to the court system and working with the parents of juveniles in detention. The opportunities for growth are limitless, but interns are encouraged to have a high level of initiative to get the most out of this intense but rewarding experience.
“I’m looking forward to learning more critical thinking skills, working with the youth, and building communication skills with staff,” said Courtney.
Linn County Public Health (LCPH) has two interns working with them this summer. Maddie is a second-year Master's student at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health. This is the second time Maddie is joining LCPH as an intern, previously working with Healthy Homes and Water Quality.
Pictured above: Maddie
“I am looking forward to learning how to apply the skills I have been taught in the classroom to real world scenarios. I am also very excited to learn about all the current projects going on to make Linn County a healthier community,” said Maddie. “Some work I will be doing throughout the summer is highlighting risk factors to health in our community surrounding certain behaviors like smoking and binge drinking, as well as creating a report on opioid use within the community. I will also be creating surveys for food pantries and their clients to figure out how to improve food insecurity while also limiting food waste.”
The second intern will be joining the Clinical Services team in late July.
For more information about open positions with Linn County or about the County in general, visit LinnCountyIowa.gov.