Hello, I’m Amy Welch, a first year MPA student currently in my second quarter of the practicum. My project for the applied learning experience is with the City of Athens Mayor’s Office. I was excited to start this project last fall because it was my first pick and the tasks involved seemed to interest me.
The project’s main goal is to develop a social media plan for the City that helps eliminate disconnect between Ohio University students and the City of Athens. During fall quarter, my partner and I found that the Mayor’s Office was using an overload of social media outlets that were not only flooding the communication avenues from the City to the students, but also to the permanent residents in Athens. After brainstorming numerous techniques and ideas, we were able to develop solutions which we will carry out throughout the winter and spring quarters. I am looking forward to delving into the work and actually getting started on the application of our hard work from fall quarter.
The practicum has been a great experience thus far, not only has it presented numerous educational and interesting guest speakers and seminars; but it teaches us to go outside of our comfort zones and challenge preexisting beliefs and ideas. For example, working for three quarters with a partner is definitely a struggle at times when conflicting viewpoints and ideas emerge. My partner and I have very different work schedules and the practicum experience has challenged us both to try different techniques to getthings done as a team both effectively and efficiently.
Additionally, the City’s Assistant Safety Director is overseeing our project and has been an amazing resource throughout the process thus far. I really do believe that our organizations we all are “working” for are just as excited as us to see what ideas and changes we can make for their organizations.
Overall, I am looking forward to the coming weeks to put our hard work from fall quarter into motion. Although I am expecting another hard working and challenging quarter, I am looking forward to it for the real world experiences it is designed to prepare us for.