Two Kansas university students are spending their summer with the Department of Administration, receiving on-the-job training about the workings of state government.
The students, Carrie Booth and Jordan Deters, are participants in the Governor’s Internship Program, which annually pairs state agencies with college students interested in careers in public service.
Booth is a graduate student at Emporia State University and is serving the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. She will complete her master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology in May. She is also a graduate teaching assistant.
Booth, who is from Randolph, has been working on updating the OCFO website to better fit the new structure they recently changed to and creating a database program to track training hours. In the latter project, the goal is to eventually get all of the employees under the CFO on a more regular, consistent training plan.
“We hope that the database I create can be used as a guide for newly hired employees to know which training topics would be helpful to know when starting a new position as well,” Booth said. “I hope this database can be useful in more than one way once I leave here.”
She said her experience with the agency will be applicable to her studies at Emporia State, her classroom instruction and beyond. Booth said the internship was “exactly what I hoped for” and will add to her career skill sets.
“It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and learn material, but it is completely different to be able to apply that material in an actual work setting,” she said. “I think getting this work experience is just as valuable as sitting in a classroom. If you think about it, this is a classroom in itself.”
Deters is serving with the Office of Public Affairs, and she is a junior at the University of Kansas. She is a native of the Burlingame-Auburn area. Deters is studying strategic communications and has previous experience with a public policy group in Washington, D.C.
She began her internship in mid-May in time to see interaction between the agency and legislators during the extended 2015 session, an experience that she said was valuable and unexpected when she applied for the position.
“I appreciated this experience and found that it gave me the chance to see the insides of state government, policy and legislation much more closely,” Deters said.
One of her main tasks this summer has been South Steps Friday’s events, an inaugural event designed to bring entertainment and information to visitors and employees in the Capitol Complex as they enjoy their lunch.
“Those events have taught me more than I ever imagined as I began to learn all that goes into coordinating, publicizing, and executing an event from start to finish,” Deters said.
She has also been producing Connected, the Department of Administration’s monthly newsletter, posting on social media and organizing the employee picnic.
“What I have enjoyed the most as an intern this summer is all of the amazing people I have been able to work with and learn from. Through the Governor’s Internship Program training, we have had several different guest speakers, each of whom offered valuable skills and advice,” she said. “Through the South Steps Fridays events, I have been able to meet and work with a wide range of individuals coming very different backgrounds.”
Deters said she hopes to stay in the world of communications, adding that she enjoys public relations and social media.
“I think this internship has given me affirmation that this is truly the field I would like to stay in for my career,” she said.