The City of Sugar Hill’s internship program provides interns the opportunity to gain valuable skills, experience, and for some, a career. Since its inception just three years ago, the Sugar Hill internship program has graduated over 25 high school and college students. The interns have varied from high school juniors to working adults looking for a career change. Many of the interns have been home grown talent, yet others have come from as far away as Michigan.
Engaging the millennial crowd in the community is the primary focus of the program. City interns get the opportunity to meet the Mayor and City Council, participate in planning City-wide events and help spread the word about what’s happening around our Sweet City. Interns get a behind-the-scenes look at the projects that are coming into the city and the process by which those are acquired. With recent private and public investments in the downtown area totaling approximately $300 million, there is a lot of information to absorb. Interns also get a glance at the innerworkings of community and learn how to get involved from a citizen’s perspective, whether it is in the City’s Business Alliance or fostering the arts in the Sugar Hill Arts Commission.
The program has been a great success and the city has even used the program to fulfill several city employment positions. Most recently, Sugar Hill native Jody Tada came through the internship program. Jody was not a traditional intern, but rather interested in how she could get involved in her city. The city staff quickly learned that Jody’s organizational skills, excellent customer service, and drive to be better at everything she does, were too valuable to let go. Tada states, “The Sugar Hill Internship in the Economic Development Department was a wonderful experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to learn the complexity of planning and implementing the many city events, concerts and programs. In addition, to this behind the scene experience, another unexpected rewarding facet of the internship was meeting building relationships with the amazing employees that would lead to me being hired a few months later.”
Another success story of the program is the city’s current Communications Coordinator, Varessa Butts. Varessa too was a non-traditional intern, and was looking for a way to get involved with Sugar Hill. Varessa’s background in communications became an asset to the city as they started to grow and wanted to get the word out on all that Sugar Hill has to offer. The city brought Varessa on board, and she now oversees the internship program. Varessa shares, “Working with the city in the internship program is a valuable experience. While I knew a lot about communication and managing public perception, I knew little about local government. It was eye-opening to see everything that Sugar Hill has to offer, from city services such as garbage and gas, to personal and professional development programs at the Suite Spot business incubator. I am thankful for the experience and even more grateful that it led to a rewarding career in the city that I call home.”
The city is currently focusing on bringing in interns interested in event planning, marketing and communications. For information on how to apply for internship or how to get more involved in Sugar Hill, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-945-6716.