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May 2016, Vol. 10, No. 5 Subscribe | Past issues | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

Georgia County Internship Program Spotlight

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GCIP Spotlight for May: Georgia Tech student interns with the Cobb County Community Development Agency

Stefen Samarripas, a graduate student studying City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech, interned with Cobb County as a part of the 2015 Summer Georgia County Internship Program. Samarripas was hired to assist the Cobb County’s Community Development Agency in updating the county’s comprehensive plan.

Before beginning his internship, Samarripas’ knowledge of county government operations did not extend beyond the classroom. Through his internship, he learned that relationship-building between county departments is critical to successful planning work. He also gained a better understanding of how responsibilities are broken down between and within departments.

Samarripas’ main responsibility during his internship was to provide research and gather data to be used in updating Cobb County’s comprehensive plan. When asked about the most significant success of his internship, Samarripas replied that identifying several new sources of data that had not been previously integrated in past comprehensive plans was particularly prideworthy. His efforts resulted in the inclusion of new data regarding alternative sources of healthy food, medical services, price-to-income ratios, soil type, internet access, and health insurance coverage to support the comprehensive plan. He also successfully consolidated data into unique geographic sub-regions. After the research and data collection process ended, Sanarripas created tables, charts and maps to summarize and display the data he collected.

From this experience, Samarripas noted that his research and presentation skills increased substantially. Beyond learning core research methods and how to obtain important planning-related data, Samarripas states he learned a great deal about the best ways to present complex data in an easily understandable fashion. Being able to present and explain data to the public is a skill Samarripas believes will benefit him in his future planning career.

For more information on the GCIP, please visit the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation website at


Mauldin & Jenkins
Naylor Association Solutions
ACCG, Georgia's County Association
191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 |