By Mike Grebosz, Assistant City Manager, DeLand, FL
Being a part of the FCCMA Student Council Subcommittee since 2011 and helping get the UCF Student Chapter off the ground, I have seen the positive impact ICMA Student Chapters have had on students, local governments and the profession. Within the City of DeLand, we have hired several UCF Student Chapter members as interns and many have found a career in local government.
One of the interns DeLand hired was SunJin Zanker. SunJin was the founding President of the UCF Student Chapter and applied to be a city intern when it was advertised through the local university career office. In being asked ‘what had being part of the UCF Student Chapter meant to him,’ he said that “Being a part of the UCF ICMA Chapter opened doors and brought me closer to local government. Connecting my experiences in the classroom with the experience of local government leaders helped me gain perspective on the different paths we all take in our careers.” SunJin currently serves as a Budget and Management Analyst at Broward County Government.
Talent recruitment is a constant struggle for many local governments and Student Chapters can help create awareness for the public sector job market in the college arena where it is typically outshined by the private sector. Marsha Noel, current President of the UCF Student Chapter said, “As President of the ICMA Student Chapter at UCF, I have learned the significance of public service through local government management. If it were not for the organization, I would not have considered pursuing a career in city or county management. I first started graduate school unsure of what I wanted to pursue, but after meeting local city and county managers through meetings and events by my organization, it was clear my interests were in city and county management. Also, as a leader I have gained valuable skills in managing the organization, working as a team with my fellow officers, listening to and implementing the needs of our members. As a student chapter member I feel better prepared to graduate with my degree than I did before I joined.”
I strongly encourage that ICMA/FCCMA members look to see how they can get involved with a local Student Chapter or even look to start a Student Chapter, if one is not nearby. Whether you have time to share your experiences with the students, mentor a student and/or support a student chapter in another way, the outcome will be exponential for our profession.
Please feel free to contact myself or FCCMA staff if you have any questions or want to learn more about ICMA Student Chapters. Let’s make a difference!
A list of current ICMA Student Chapters can be found at: http://icma.org/en/icma/career_network/students/student_chapters.