Four college interns have taken up posts at Fayetteville City Hall this summer, three of whom are familiar faces, and all being great helps to City personnel.
Zipporah Dorsey, Malcolm Montgomery, and Chase Johnson all worked at City Hall last year, and they were joined by University of Georgia senior Riley Bayly this year. This crew is helping the Finance and Information Technology departments catch up on filing, document digitization and other special projects.
Dorsey, who is a rising junior at Savannah College of Art & Design’s Atlanta campus, grew up in Fayetteville, rose through the Fayette County Public Schools system, and graduated from Fayette County High School in 2017. While government work may not be her personal career path in the future, she says she wants to always be a contributing member of her community wherever she lives, and she says the experience this year and last has been helpful in learning more about local government and how it interacts with the people it serves.
Even the seemingly mundane task of digitizing old Planning & Zoning documents has been educational, she says, because they provide clues to the City’s recent past which helps make sense of how things are ordered now. She says she even found old drawings of a daycare center where she used to go as a child.
“That brought back a lot of memories,” Dorsey said. “It’s awesome to know I’m helping the mayor with his promise to digitize the City of Fayetteville.”
Montgomery, who graduated from Fayette County High School this spring, is now headed to the University of Georgia to study law or journalism, he says. Between now and then, he says he is glad to be back at Fayetteville City Hall working.
“It was pretty good. I got to meet a lot of good people,” Montgomery said of his 2018 intern experience.
Montgomery digitized a great many City documents last summer, and he’s back on the case this summer as well.
“It’s a good move,” Montgomery said. “I see why we still need to keep the physical records, but they are easier to access when they are digital.”
Bayly, who is a new face for 2019, has been working with the Finance team, where he has been doing a lot of general filing but also some work alongside Occupational Tax Clerk Phyllis Brown handling business license records. He says he has enjoyed getting an inside view of local government, because he has future aspirations in government as well. He is a political science major at the University of Georgia looking to study law.
“I want to get into politics,” Bayly said. “That’s really my goal rather than being a lawyer.”
Johnson, who is a finance major at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., did a lot of filing and document digitizing last year when he worked at City Hall, and this year he has worked more closely with the Finance team on day-to-day budget and reporting projects.
“I wanted to work on something more technically difficult,” Johnson said, noting he was grateful to be invited back for another summer of interning. One of his new projects is data visualization for employee benefits. This will be an individualized, graphically illustrated presentation for each City employee showing their combined salary and benefits compensation package.
Johnson this year is working closely with Director of Finance Mike Bush.
“The City of Fayetteville has been very fortunate and blessed to have such hardworking young adults to intern under the Finance and Information Technology departments over the past few summers,” Bush said. “It is inspiring and encouraging to see such inquisitive individuals work so hard and put forth incredible amounts of effort to educate themselves on the inner-workings and day-to-day operations of our local government. They develop their technical and professional skillsets each and every day.”
Bush says the interns’ hard work and dedication not only speaks volumes about their character, but also gives him hope for the future.
“I foresee that they will go on to succeed and accomplish big things in college and beyond,” Bush said.
When Johnson expressed that he wanted greater challenges this summer, Bush met that request with an opportunity.
“I have had the pleasure of personally instructing and educating the Finance Department intern, Chase Johnson, in various areas of finance, including auditing, depreciation, data visualization, and budgeting,” Bush said. “Chase’s advanced familiarity with the Microsoft Excel software coupled with his ability to enter sizable quantities of data and information into our databases has proven an invaluable asset to the Finance team and the City of Fayetteville as a whole. We are very thankful for his tenure as an intern and hope that his experience here has been meaningful and useful.”