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2009 The Journey of an Intern: A Portfolio

Simone Peterson Manatee County Government 8/21/2009


I started my journey with Manatee County February of 2007 during my senior year at Manatee High School. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I would be subjected to the most incredulous experience of my professional career. Since my last correspondence to Human Resources on August 26, 2008, many things have occurred. I began an internship with Information Outreach in March of this year. In the short time that I have worked with them, I have learned more about my minor, broadcast journalism. With the help of my managers I have gained helpful insight on web and print design as well as sharpen my writing technique. Networking is another element I have been exposed to. In Neighborhood Services, my role as intern has expanded dramatically. In addition to regular administrative duties, I regularly help Economic Development, Community Development, Neighborhood Planning and Code Enforcement. However, to document this wonderful journey through Manatee County, I think it would be best to divide it into different roads of travel:

   

Community Service Avenue- The beginning. Neighborhood Services Highway- The expansion of roles. Information Outreach Interstate- Application of things learned. The Road Untraveled- The vague, yet achievable future.


First Stop:


At the beginning of the internship, I worked in Community Services. Fred Loveland was my director and my immediate supervisor was Cheri Coryea. I worked under Suzie Dobbs, helping to catalogue and sort files as well as keying in documents and assisting with appointment scheduling. Though they were small tasks, they were small important tasks. They needed to be done. If they weren’t they would ruin the work process. It would create a domino effect. Therefore, those tasks, especially the filing, taught me that if I could be counted on doing the basic tasks, I could be trusted in handling the bigger things. These skills also taught me how important it was to be organized and efficient. Assisting in the filming the BOCC meeting was another task I was entrusted with. That tied into my mass communications career path. I worked the cameras, video indexed and worked the switchboard. When Cathy Hoggard retired, I was a receptionist half days. I would either spend the morning or afternoon interacting with customers that needed veteran’s benefits, prescription assistance, healthcare aid and even some who were on probation who need to talk to their supervisor. During the summer, I helped Gladys Rumph and Vikki White with the Summer Food Program. Coordinators would go out and pass out food to the various childcare providers like the Boys & Girls Club, Girls Club, and local community centers around Manatee County. After delivering the food they were required to call in to the Summer Food hotline and tell how many they delivered, if they needed some for tomorrow and if so, how much. I was on the other line taking this information and forwarding it along through the appropriate channels. I also participated in Children’s Services events. I was the Head Camp Counselor of the Safe Kids Safety Camp which is a one-week camp that educates campers of young ages about how to stay safe when they are walking, crossing the street, riding in a car, in the pool and other various situations. I have been a Children’s Summit volunteer and RibFest volunteer since 2007.


Second Stop:


As part of the reorganization of County Departments recommended by County Administrator Ed Hunzeker, the Neighborhood Services Department began its operation on October 1, 2007. Around this time was when my role in the department developed. I interfaced with the divisions on a regular basis and frequently helped in different tasks. Some of these projects and roles are documented below: United Way Vice Coordinator I assisted Diana Vennera the United Way Coordinator for Neighborhood Services. I assist with planning events, reserving rooms, soliciting donations, creating promotional flyers as well as setting up meetings between the Neighborhood Services United Way committee. CDBG Annual Report My contribution to the CDBG Annual Report was to submit an Excel file with newsletter clippings that featured any and everything CDBG. After clipping the articles in the Excel file I noted the date, which newspaper published it, headline and a brief summary of the article. Regular Administrative Tasks  Coordinating meetings via Lotus Notes  Distributing notices to Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) members and all interested parties.  In the process of learning how to complete a Request for Legal Services (RLS)  Processing agenda items to take to the County Administrator’s Office  Aid in NSD Time Card process  Proficient in the following programs: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Adobe PhotoShop, InDesign, PageMaker  Processing mail Business Tax I have been involved in compiling business tax data and applications that will help determine if Manatee County should have a business tax, also known as occupational licenses. The data was then placed in an Excel spreadsheet.


Samoset Station A newsletter that was mailed out to the residents of the Samoset triangle area. This publication was published bi-monthly and featured articles from Dave Bristow (Sheriff’s Office) and Scott Boyes (Principal of Samoset Elementary). The newsletter also spotlighted local businesses. There were five issues.


Newsletter Tool Kit The Newsletter Took Kit was created to help neighborhood create a newsletter. It has everything a neighborhood or community would need to establish a newsletter, which in turn can cause the residents to be self-reliant.


Neighborhood Clean Up Postcards are mailed out to different areas in Manatee County notifying the community that a cleanup will be occurring in their neighborhood. This clean up helps homeowners with disposing household wastes, appliances, etc. Flyers are also given to the code enforcement officer who patrols the area the area that has the upcoming cleanup for distribution.


Neighborhood Services Website In an effort to become more user-friendly and proactive in our NSD duties, a website reorganization was in order. Once someone clicks on the Neighborhood Services on the County’s home page, instead of seeing 15-20 items on the left menu bar, a user will see our five divisions and be greeted with a mission statement and other related information. However, with the new County website coming online soon this project is in hiatus. Other web projects I have created include: Norma Lloyd Park and the SAVE Network.


Third Stop:

INFORMATION

OUTREACH 1112


ManateE-zine A publication by employees for employees about employees. That sentence sums up the ManateE-zine in a nutshell. It is a monthly magazine, published on the last Thursday of the month. Being the Managing Editor of the project, I help the Executive Manager generate, edit and finalize stories for layout.


Social Media Report After two weeks of researching the various social media available today along with my personal experience with social media, I compiled a 54-page report which was designed “help Manatee County Government determine which social application will best serve their communication needs.�


My ManaTV MGA Program- SAVE Network After creating the SAVE Network web page, it was decided that a MGA program will be produced that will feature Manatee County’s initiatives against the foreclosure crisis. As the host of this program I interviewed players in the foreclosure realm like Judge Haworth (12th Circuit Chief Judge), Suzie Dobbs (Community Development Manager) and Ben Kunkel (Director of the United Way 2-1-1 Center).


Manatee County Employee Photo Contest The brainchild of Deputy County Administrator, Karen WIndon, I organized the event, appointed judges, prepared the forms and other supporting documents as well as certificates to be distributed to the winners and honorable mentions.


2010 Census Media Committee The media committee creates and facilitates ways to get the census message to all community residents, using all available sources such as local newspapers, newsletters, fliers, local festivals, billboards, radio, and television.


My ManaTV MGA Program- Summer Trilogy The purpose of the Summer Trilogy program is to illustrate that Manatee County’s preserves, parks and beaches can be an inexpensive option for residents to enjoy their summer. Three, 15minute videos, each video focusing on either parks, preserves and beaches, will be produced. Larry Leinhauser, Public Information Officer for Public Safety will host the Preserves segment and I will host the beaches and parks segments.


PBX Messaging System

In an effort to be a more customer friendly government, Information Outreach is enhancing the hold message system so customers can be directed to the information they need quickly and correctly. I have done the research needed to create effective hold messages as well as writing the prompts. After I get approval from the prompts, I will be able to choose the music, record the prompts and submit them to Information Services, Telecommunications Division to then be placed in the PBX system. Internal Studio (Studio 8) Studio 8, located on the 8th floor of the Administration Building, is utilized for internal communications to employees. The goal is to have the studio booked by departments who would like to communicate with Manatee County Government employees as a whole. I am currently working on creating a 10 minute COOP (Continuity of Operations Plans) video that will be placed on the Intranet site. I am also in the process of creating an Employee Orientation video. Video Streaming One of the new tasks handed to Information Outreach was the streaming video process. Community Services was handling this process before so, I worked closely with Janice Dunbar who taught me how to index meetings. With my training from her, I, along with Randy Beckwith’s help, created step-by-step instructions for future trainees. Surveys While in Information Outreach I have been given the task as a surveyor. I have conducted three surveys thus far: Internal Communications survey, External Newsletter survey, and Volunteer survey. The Internal Communications survey helped determine what communication vehicle Information Outreach was going to use for its internal communications.


Fourth Stop:

The Road Untraveled


Education My current college track includes a major in general business with a concentration in management and a minor in mass communications. I will attend USF Sarasota-Manatee campus in the spring. Career I could see myself doing many things: continuing at Manatee County Government, starting my own business, becoming a journalist or even working overseas. In whatever I choose to do, I want to work in a place where I can make a difference. With Manatee County Government, I feel I can do just that. However, I must admit, that later down the road I would like to take up a degree that would land me in a government job. This internship has been so influential it is causing me to second-guess my minor. Internship in Review This internship has given me invaluable knowledge about “the real world� in which no amount of college could prepare a student for. In this past year, I have grown exponentially. I have learned that just having the skills and competency to do a job is just half of what makes a superior employee. One must also be able to communicate effectively and properly to fellow co-workers. I have become more aware of how other people think, act and work and how to best interface with a person that may not share my exact views on things. I have also gained more intrapersonal insight. Just as people learn differently, people work differently as well. Getting to a common ground has been the most challenging yet most interesting objective I have had to overcome during this year. Even though the future is unclear, I have been better equipped to handle whatever stumbling blocks may lie down my path. I look forward to turning those blocks of weakness into blocks of strength by participating in everything and anything Manatee County Government can offer to me. I can confidently say that with the added knowledge and application of that knowledge in the real world, I will be able to make a difference in whatever path I take. Once again, I am truly indebted to those who keep this road I am traveling intact. Sincerely,

Simone A. Peterson Simone A. Peterson .


Portfolio (Repaired)