“Making an Impact” – by Michelle Stevens


Not a Govloop Member? 30 Secs & Free to Join for Great Info & Perks


Like a majority of students, I entered college without a clear vision of
my future career. I wanted a career where I could work with people and
positively affect society, which drew me to explore public
administration. My first public administration class at the University
of Kansas introduced me to a career in local government. A City Manager
and KU Masters in Public Administration alum spoke to my class regarding
a City Manager’s role in local government. He also discussed the
challenges facing his community and the steps the City had taken to
address the challenges. Realizing I had a passion for the same nature of
work, I chose to explore the local government path in the public
sector. With the help of my advisors, I obtained an internship with the
City Manager’s Office in Lawrence, Kansas in March of 2009.

My internship at the City of Lawrence has been incredible in many ways.
Everyday presents new challenges and lessons to be learned. My mentors
at the City of Lawrence are teaching me what it means to be responsive
to the elected officials while exposing me to a variety of projects with
different departments. Witnessing the amount of work, the number of
people, and the dedication that it takes deliver basic city services
effectively and efficiently has been eye opening. Whether it has been
working with citizen groups to revamp the Santa Fe Station or the
Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission to advance arts in the Lawrence area
or gathering comparative data, my work at the city has been both
challenging and rewarding. I have been working there for a little over a
year now and I am excited to go to work everyday.

I recently graduated from the University of Kansas in three and a half
years with a Bachelor of General Studies in Public Administration. My
overall GPA was a 3.71, with a 3.91 in Public Administration. I am also a
member of the Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honors Society: Nu Epsilon
Chapter. My academic record reflects my dedication to education as well
as my ability to set goals and achieve them.

I have come to realize that public service is my calling. My ultimate
career goal is to be a City Manager. While I have gained valuable
knowledge and experience thus far, I realize I have much more to learn. I
have been accepted into the City and County Leadership Masters in
Public Administration program at the University of Kansas.

Through my education at the University of Kansas and my internship with
the City of Lawrence, I have found my passion in public service, which
to me is about having a direct, positive impact on society. Local
government management is unique because the effects of your
organization’s work can be seen everyday in your local community. I am
eager to continue working in local government and learning on a deeper
level what it means to be a public servant.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Scott Wagner

A great essay. A career in public service allows you to make lots of impacts on people’s lives and the life of an organization. Not all people are called to such a career. Michelle will make a great public servant.

Diane Trybom

No. 20 – “Making and Impact”

Michelle’s dedication, in all aspects of her life, is outstanding and at some point in her life, will make some lucky City, a great City Manager.

Linda M Finger

I cast my vote for Essay No 20. There are other good essays posted, but what Michelle says resonates with my 32 years of public service. With the aging of employees in the public sector, it could use an infusion of young people who have a “passion” for public service!

Charlie Bryan

Michelle, your enthusiasm is inspiring. I’m glad you’ve committed to a career in local government management. Best of luck in this essay/scholarship contest.

Michelle Stevens

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your votes and support. However, I found out that the votes on this page do not count. Can you please vote on the main discussion board?

Thanks again,