AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STUDENT PROFESSIONALS IN RESIDENCE (AASPIRE) INTERNSHIPS
PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND COMPONENTS
Management officials who wish to sponsor an Intern must be devoted to the concept of serving as a guide and a mentor. The internships will be heavily focused on exposure to divisional operating procedures and policies. This exposure will include attendance at departmental management team and staff meetings. It is recommended that observational activities may be preceded by an information sharing session to explain the purpose and objectives of time spent. Time should also be taken to review the intern's understanding of where a Department or Division fits into the City organizational structure. Information should be shared to expose the intern to departmental funding sources and related administrative guidelines (e.g., City Ordinances or other laws, personnel procedures, collective bargaining agreements, etc).
The intern should be assigned to activities that will foster an understanding of the operations unit to which he/she has been assigned as well as provide insight as to how City operations work together to produce the organizational whole.
Under no circumstances will the AASPIRE Intern be assigned to only one operating task or to clerical duties. Duties and assignments will be rotated in keeping with a pre-established plan that will promote professional development.
In order to participate in this process, Department and Division heads are requested to submit an application to the Affirmative Action Division. Clarifying information may be obtained through Colier McNair at (608) 266-6510. The application must clearly describe the manager's plan to develop the intern's understanding of public administration and organization. The narrative description should include what activities will be assigned and should explain the proposed objectives and goals and the timetable within which each activity is projected to be accomplished.
PROFESSIONAL PROJECT/TASK AREA ASSIGNMENT
The intern assignment should revolve around specific activities. If at all possible, the intern will be assigned to work on a limited term project with defined objectives. The assignments must foster the application of professional levels of skill and responsibility and may not be only one operating task or clerical duties.
Exposure to Managerial/Policy-Setting Operations and Activities:
Professional assignments should be designed to foster the intern's understandings of his/her working unit, the City of Madison organizational structure and how the work of City operations are interdependent. Where possible, the intern will be permitted to observe at administrative task force and policy development meetings (which might include staff committees or citizen oversight commissions).
Public Policy and Administrative Oversight:
During the course of the program, the intern will have the opportunity to observe one Department/Division Head meeting. Managers will be notified of the scheduled date for interns to attend. In the event that managers will not be able to attend the scheduled Department/Division Directors meeting, managers will have the option of having the Affirmative Action Director accompany the intern to this meeting in their place.
In order that the AASPIRE Internship experience can offer insight as to the political realities of administrative oversight to government services, the interns will receive an audience with the Mayor. This meeting will be scheduled to ensure that every intern can participate and to allow the interns a modicum of time to learn about their respective assignments and organizational units. The actual meeting with the Mayor will occur as a group.
Affirmative Action Division Retreat/Reception:
The Affirmative Action Division will host a Retreat/Reception for the interns. The purpose of this event is to allow the program participants to meet one another and to share experiences as well as confidences. An important aspect to this experience is the opportunity for the interns to come together with the Affirmative Action Director and program staff who can be supportive to affirmative action group member needs. For this reason, only interns and AA staff are invited to participate at this event.
C. Colier McNair, Contract Compliance Monitor
Department of Civil Rights Affirmative Action Division