As Georgians get vaccinated and prepare for their emergence from the coronavirus pandemic, cities may find that they have a lot of work ahead of them—either because projects were put on hold or because the pandemic has led to new ideas. In any case, GMA is here to help.
The local government practicum brings together graduate students looking for practical experience and cities that need assistance with research-driven projects. GMA encourages its members to visit our website and submit a brief application that describes the scope of work. There is no cost to cities, no deadline to apply, and the program guidelines are minimal. Since most students participate in the practicum for the summer or a single semester, the duration of a project should not exceed four months.
Students will select projects according to their educational background, expertise and professional goals. They are also expected to familiarize themselves with the location and staff of the city they choose, which can still be done remotely to accommodate public health concerns. Unlike an internship, the student works independently and does not require a manager to provide day-to-day supervision.
At the end of the semester, the city will receive a report, usually delivered in a formal presentation before the city council. Throughout the project, GMA serves as a support system and liaison between the city, the student and university faculty.
This story originally appeared in the May/June 2021 edition of Georgia’s Cities magazine.