Intern joins city staff
The city of Basehor is giving a student practical experience while gaining a helping hand.
Jared Cobb, a student in the Masters of Public Administration program at Kansas University, recently joined the city staff as an intern and will be assisting City Administrator Carl Slaugh with different projects throughout the school year. Slaugh said that although Cobb was still learning, he would be a valuable part of the city's team.
"KU is still ranked the number one MPA program in the United States," Slaugh said. "So I think they have a pretty good selection of students who go there. We're thankful he's a good student."
The program's honorable reputation is one of the reasons Cobb, a native of Palm Harbor, Fla., said he decided to move to Kansas to continue his education. After earning a bachelor's degree in economics from Florida State University, Cobb said he explored the world of politics first.
"I've always had an interest in local politics," Cobb said. "But after an internship with a politician, I decided I liked more of the management aspect. That's where I thought I could make more of a difference, too."
The opportunity for an internship in Basehor was also appealing to Cobb, who eventually would like to be the city administrator for a small town. He also said interning in a small town would allow him to work on more projects than some of his fellow students who accepted internships in larger cities.
"I'm able to see all the different parts of the city and how it functions," he said. "I'm able to touch on a lot of different projects."
He will spend about 20 hours per week working on various tasks including his first assignment, which is to create a pay scale plan for city employees. The plan will organize salaries and hourly rates by establishing ranges for each job department and position. Slaugh said Cobb's work on the plan would be helpful because most smaller cities do not have a big enough staff and must hire an outside company to complete pay plans, which can cost from $6,000 to $8,000.
"Jared's bachelor's is in economics, so just in the short time he's been here, he's done a good job putting together some of that data for us," Slaugh said.
Other projects Cobb will have the opportunity to work on will be the city's capital improvement plan and development issues.
Slaugh said having an intern in the department would definitely help address some of the issues that have been on the shelf a long time. Plus, the work in Basehor will help Cobb gain some experience in his future career field.
"We get somebody who's well qualified, and quite often the work they do here will tie into one of their classes," Slaugh said.