Working in Local Government: Which public(s) do we serve

local govOn February 4, Public Administration students attended a Career Development workshop: “Working in Local Government: Which public(s) do we serve – how and why” The Panelists reflected on their path to the current position, their challenges and what skills they use the most.

The Panelists included:

  • Greg Crump, SF State MPA Alumnus, Communications & Public Affairs, Department of Public Works, City & County of San Francisco
  • Danielle Lee, MBA, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainability, San Mateo County
  • PJ Moore, SF State MPA Alumnus, Outreach Coordinator, Planning and Capital Management Division, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

The Panelists discussed their pathway to their current position. Volunteering, then an internship and leadership in a special project was the most common pathway.

The Panelist faced many challenges in serving the public. Skepticism and distrust were the biggest challenges faced. Building trust and working to show that their agency is genuinely working to meet the public’s needs is a priority.

The skills that have been most instrumental to the panelists are writing and communication skills. The ability to explain complex situations in a simple way and for different audiences is very important as well as the ability to put things in perspective, view the services the agency provides and choices its makes with a broad lens.

Some advice the panelist had for current students is to obtain an internship with an agency which you would like to pursue, get involved and set yourself apart, and learn every departments’ system of operation.