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By Chris Kelley
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From IPA Public Administration Fellow to Local Government Management Fellow, School of Public Policy and Administration alumni Evan Miller continues to follow his passion for public service.
If you want to make an impact on peoples lives, implement changes and see the fruits of your labor, you should think about a career in local government.Rob Carty, ICMA
Evan Miller, MPA 17, likes to consider himself a generalist in the field of local government management for now, at least.
I'm still working to figure out what exactly it is that I want to do, said Miller of his career trajectory. However, I do know that I like to do everything and anything when it comes to local government management and I like to try new things. Thats why this role with the International City Managers Association's (ICMA) Local Government Management Fellowship is such a great fit for me.
A highly competitive career-development opportunity, the ICMA Local Government Management Fellowship serves as a way to generate interest in local government careers for recent masters program graduates or graduating students enrolled in public administration, public policy or related masters degree programs at NASPAA-member schools. Those who apply and are accepted are placed into a full-time management-track local government position, which includes mentorship from senior government leaders and a variety of rotational assignments.
After receiving his MPA from the University of Delaware in the spring of 2017, Miller moved to Rehoboth Beach to begin his fellowship. Assigned to work directly under the city managers of both Milford and Rehoboth Beach jointly, his schedule consists of attending city council meetings, providing support to city departments and working on special projects for both municipalities. For Miller, no two days are the same, however.
One day, I might be working with the finance department. Another, I could be working with the city administration. On another day, I'm doing grant research or writing, said Miller of his schedule as a fellow. The next day, I could be doing all three at the same time. It really kind of depends on whats going on.
From completing a local government internship to serving as a graduate public administration fellow at the Institute for Public Administration (IPA), Miller stressed that education and experience were key to his acceptance into ICMAs competitive fellowship program.
During his time working at IPA as a student, Miller was able to discover and focus in on his interest in public management and leadership. Working with IPA Policy Scientist Marcia Scott, he assisted with a transportation research project funded by the Delaware Department of Transportation. As part of that project, his duties included working with community members and service providers to coordinate specialized transportation services across Delaware, organizing and facilitating county-based workshops and a statewide forum to discuss the state of mobility management and contributing to a policy brief on the program titled Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Specialized Transportation Coordination in Delaware.
Additionally, Miller highlighted his capital improvement plan internship with the Borough of Media, Pennsylvania, as another guiding point in his career. In this role, he worked to develop a five-year capital improvement plan for the city that laid out in detail a roadmap for land acquisitions, building projects, and more.
Both the fellows and cities participating in ICMAs Local Government Management Fellowship are reaping the benefits of the program. The city has been able to tackle projects that would have otherwise been left on the back burner without Evans help, said Milford City Manager Eric Norenberg, one of Millers two managers through his fellowship. We have created or updated numerous policies and procedures and developed our first strategic plan thanks to Evan's direct involvement and leadership.
Rob Carty, director of career services and next generation initiatives at ICMA, encourages graduate students and recent alumni from NASPAA-accredited schoolslike the University of Delawareto apply. The fellowship is a great opportunity for young professionals to explore a career path in local government without making a huge investment, in part because fellows have the chance to experience all of the facets of local government before jumping into a full-on career.
Both Carty and Miller suggested that students interested in a career in local government should not only apply to the Local Government Management Fellowship, but also look into becoming an ICMA member. ICMA as a whole provides a wealth of resources, knowledge, and training for those currently in or interested in pursuing local government management roles, added Carty.
Miller encourages students who are interested in a local government pathway to build their experience while in school. Beyond that? My biggest recommendation for students who are interested in becoming a Local Government Management Fellow is to apply and actually complete the application, said Miller. That might be one of the hardest steps, but its worth doing.
About the Institute for Public Administration
The University of Delawares Institute for Public Administration addresses the policy, planning, and management needs of its partners through the integration of applied research, professional development, and the education of tomorrows leaders.
About the ICMA Local Government Management Fellowship
For more information on ICMA or how to become a member, visit the ICMA website. For more information on ICMAs fellowship program, students are encouraged to visit the Local Government Management Fellowship website.