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Gracie Pruitt Interns with Bartow County
Gracie Pruitt, a Cartersville High School student, interned with the community development department in Bartow County. Pruitt, who participates in her high school's civil engineering program, worked with Bartow's County Engineer on erosion & sedimentation projects.
Before her internship, Pruitt was unfamiliar with county government operations and had limited real-world engineering experience. However, Pruitt was a dedicated and fast learner with the support of her supervisor, Mark Cox. As part of her internship, Cox trained Pruitt in AutoCAD, a computer design software used by engineers to create precise drawings. Reflecting on her work, Pruitt noted that learning AutoCAD was one of her major successes. "I have a long way to go to be an expert," she said, "but getting to learn the basics will help me tremendously in the future."
Equipped with her new AutoCAD knowledge, Pruitt assisted the engineering division with plan reviews, including residential drainage and tertiary plans. Pruitt logged these plans into the internal county system and reviewed them by checking for compliance against erosion & sedimentation and pollution control ordinances. She also used AutoCAD to update Bartow County’s Standard Details, a set of specifications and guidelines for construction in the county.
In addition to plan reviews, Pruitt went around the county for fieldwork. She assisted with erosion & sedimentation inspections at large developments and observed other aspects of county engineering projects. Fieldwork provided Pruitt with real-world engineering experience and interaction with county engineers and staff.
Pruitt noted that one of her favorite parts of the internship was learning alongside her coworkers. "They were always aiming to teach me and help me," she said. Another favorite part of Pruitt's internship was attending meetings and learning about Bartow County's expansion and growth into the future.
Though a key part of her internship was training in AutoCAD and learning the basics of site plans, Pruitt noted that she also gained professional skills. By attending county meetings, observing court hearings, and engaging with private companies, Pruitt said she learned how to interact more professionally and will feel more comfortable working with future employers.
Pruitt completed her internship with a foundational understanding of key engineering software and concepts, as well as a new confidence in her professional abilities. Based on her experience with Bartow County, she said she would consider a career in county government in the future. Now looking forward to college, Pruitt has unique skills and a better grasp of her prospective engineering major due to her internship experience.

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