Business Center

Experiencing Public Service

#StateGovernment #ChangeManagement #ProjectManagement #internship #experience

By: Jean Anselmi, Process Improvement Intern

October 9, 2019

Jean AnselmiPresenting at the August Intern Report-Out

In May, I graduated from the American University of Paris, in Paris, France. While I enjoyed my time studying in Europe I was ready to come back home. Moving 4,000 miles and looking for a job isn’t easy though, and I was fortunate enough to get offered a position at the Colorado Department of Transportation as a Process Improvement Intern.

Academically my background is technical, in Mathematics and Computer Science. So how did working for the Office of Process Improvement fit in with that? In my last year of university, I became interested in project management, and after discussing the position with Michelle Malloy, I knew an internship with CDOT was where I would be able to learn about project and change management in a constructive environment. I also had a deep interest in public service for years, and a temporary position with the State was the perfect way to experience public sector work.

In university, I was also exposed to Agile project management methodologies, and during my time with CDOT I was exposed to many other project and change management methodologies and tools. From Lean to Prosci’s ADKAR model, I expanded my toolbox far beyond what I could have ever learned on my own. There are also many personal time management strategies that we used in the Office of Process Improvement including Kanban boards and Trello that I know I will be taking with me to future positions.

My first project management experience was with the Division of Maintenance and Operations, serving as project manager for an Oil Analysis program. For this project I got to visit the Wagner Fluids Analysis lab and see what an amazing operation they have. I also got a lot of autonomy as project manager. My mentor Michelle Malloy was there to answer my questions but the bulk of the work and responsibility fell to me, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I also had the opportunity to run the Intern Involvement program at CDOT. In my office we were always very lucky to have a close-knit community of interns, but not every department is like that. Sometimes there is only one or two interns per office, and it can be hard to make connections and find friends at work. So with the help of my supervisor Gary Vansuch we created this program to give interns learning experiences, resources, and networking opportunities. This was also the project I took through CDOT’s 3-day Change Management course, developing a plan to make sure the program is well received and extends beyond my internship.

My time at CDOT gave me valuable experience of what it means to work in the public sector, as well as a taste of what project management and change management are like. It also gave me great friends and relationships, and experience working for fantastic managers who are not only amazing at their jobs, but also fabulous mentors.

Now I’m off to work for Intecrowd LLC as a Workday Integrations Assistant Consultant. I know that the skills I’ve gained at CDOT will serve me well in my new role, from understanding how to break down a large project into smaller deliverables, to always looking for small ways to improve workflows and processes. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had with the State and looking forward to applying what I’ve learned to support my future technical position.

How Do I Hire Interns?

Learn about how to utilize CDOT’s internship program in your division by referencing the CDOT Collegiate Internship Handbook.