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June 2019, Vol.13 , No.6 Subscribe | Past issues | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

Georgia County Internship Spotlight

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Photo is courtesy of Pickens County

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College student, Emily Dean, completes internship with Pickens County

Prior to interning with Pickens County, Emily Dean, an agriculture education student, was not familiar with county government operations and had very little experience with the daily operations and expectations of county employees. Through her emergency management specialist internship, Dean learned that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that those who are not involved in county government do not see. Her internship taught her that in order to have a successful county government, it is vital for each department to operate correctly and efficiently.

During the course of her internship, Dean worked in a fluid environment where different days consisted of different tasks—an environment of which she was not familiar. She learned to adapt quickly and to be more flexible. Dean believed that the most successful task she accomplished during her time with Pickens County was her personal growth. She learned to adapt quickly and efficiently without getting distraught or flustered. She also learned to think without limitations and that rejection of idea suggestions or thoughts is not a bad thing. Whatever it takes to be successful is what matters and nothing less. Coming to terms with that is something that she considers a significant success.

Dean’s favorite part of the internship experience was learning more about the Emergency Management Agency and the role it plays in Pickens County. Participating in some training classes over the course of her internship provided hands-on experience that will last a lifetime. She reflected on this internship as a huge professional development opportunity. She felt like she grew as an adult in a professional setting, which will be favorable to her future career goals. Understanding the government’s role in everyday life will help her to be a more efficient employee and citizen.

To future interns, Dean’s advice is to come in with a flexible and open mindset. You never know what each day will hand you—it is government. Be prepared for anything and everything. Don’t be afraid to learn—and sometimes that means being wrong or asking questions. That is the whole purpose of an internship. When asked if there was a career in county government for Dean in the future, she answered that although it was not a career choice she had considered prior to the internship, she would consider it. With the experience she gained through this internship, holding a position in county government would be a possibility if the opportunity arose.

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

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191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 |