Texas A&M University
Describe your job in 30 words or less.
As a long range planner, my job consists of tracking the City’s demographic trends, preparing population estimates and projections and serving as project manager on planning-related strategic projects such as The Hill Redevelopment Strategic Project.
What song best describes your workday or job?
Although I don’t work in the Parks Department, I would say the theme song to Parks and Recreation. I love that show. We should all aspire to be a Leslie Knope!
You started off as an intern for the City of Sugar Land. When did you intern? Which department did you intern for?
I started as an intern with the Planning Department in May 2015. I graduated from A&M on a Friday, and my first day was the Monday right after.
When/how did you move into a full-time position?
The internship program ended in August 2015, but I was offered an extension as a temporary employee for a few months. I did not have a job lined up yet, so I happily accepted the extension. Waiting paid off when an opening became available and was hired as an entry-level planner. I’ve been here ever since!
How did your internship experience prepare you for the transition to a full-time role?
As an intern, I prepared a report that helped the executive team determine the best timing for the annexation of New Territory and Greatwood. I worked alongside department directors and assistant city managers to gather data and attended meetings where I witnessed the analytical thinking required to make a recommendation to City Council. I’ve implemented that skill into my current projects to make data-driven decisions and recommendations. I also assisted my former coworker in many of her projects as an intern, so the transition was almost seamless when I was hired.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is how interdisciplinary it is. Depending on the project, I work with different departments, and I enjoy learning about their field of work. Most recently, I am working on an update to the City’s Water Master Plan and am learning about the technical aspects of planning for water infrastructure in future growth areas of the City and ETJ. My other favorite part is the public engagement and interaction with the community. As part of The Hill Community Engagement strategic project that I’m leading, I’ve had a very positive experience with The Hill residents as they reached consensus on maintaining the character of their neighborhood. The community has been appreciative of having the opportunity to speak and provide input on the future of their neighborhood.
What advice would you give to future City of Sugar Land interns?
I would recommend asking a lot of questions. College only provides the base knowledge that you need to perform the job, and applying that knowledge can be very different in practice.