“I want to work in government for the rest of my life” – A Student’s Reflection on Local Job Shadowing
AUTHOR: NICOLAS NORIEGA OLAZABA
Florida is to me still a relatively unexplored area. Having moved here from Texas just half a year ago, I thought that, not only adjusting, but also finding meaningful activities to partake in would be very difficult. Despite all this, I was able to shadow for Mr. Jamie French from the Growth Management Department of Collier County on February 20th, 2018, thanks to the great initiative by the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF).
This was an experience of unparalleled benefit for me because, for the first time, I was able to learn, up close, about the operation of our government at the local level. So many things which we often don’t think about, going from the building of public areas to the enforcement of building codes in homes and businesses, all depend on this one local department.
I was able to listen to Mr. French and his colleagues discussing the building of a park area around Immokalee, and the challenges that this would present, such as having to figure out what the most optimal use of the land dug up during construction would be. Afterward, I was given a small tour of the department, seeing engineers and bureaucrats at their job. I was even able to see the place from which traffic is monitored and managed; not something you see every day!
This wasn’t the only thing that the LCF and Naples Chamber did for me. I was also given the opportunity to attend several local conferences on economic development and other such topics. These were not just incredibly informative, but they also provided me with the opportunity to network with local professionals working in a wide range of fields. I believe that all of these initiatives, which have also benefited other local youth, are important because they allow participants to become connected to their community and possibly start thinking about what career they wish to pursue in the future.
To participate in a shadow day as a business or a student contact Director of Work-Based Learning, Alex Breault today!