This summer working at Carlisle/Wortman Associates was an invaluable and fulfilling experience. I had the opportunity to work with and learn from people who are not only experts in the field, but incredibly kind and genuine as well. The entire experience verified and strengthened my desire to pursue a career in the planning field.
I worked on a number of projects, including writing zoning procedures for Independence Township, creating economic development metrics for Scio Township, drafting ordinance and master plan revisions for Cheboygan’s Port Project, and revising the Huron Township Master Plan. Throughout many of these projects, I was fortunate enough to be guided by a member of the team who imparted their knowledge and expertise and helped me understand the finer aspects of the planning process. Whereas we are often guided by theoretical principles in the courses we take as students, learning the most practical approach to completing these projects was extremely beneficial and something I am certain to take with me into a career after I complete my Master’s program.
I particularly enjoyed the public meetings that I had the pleasure of attending as part of the Carlisle/Wortman Associates staff. The AATA meeting at Mallet’s Creek Library served as a great example of how to run a public meeting. Hearing the suggestions, concerns, and in one instance, gratitude from the local participants greatly inspired me. The public meeting in the Village of Stockbridge regarding a rezoning request to accommodate an oil pipeline was an incredibly educational experience that allowed me to evaluate the often complex, yet critical legal aspects of the planning process.
Having the opportunity to go out into communities like Huron Township and Scio Township provided much insight into the workings of local government. It was wonderful to see how the local officials exude a sense of pride for their communities, which undoubtedly fuels their dedication in constantly bettering them. I realized that people like these really enable us all to live in wonderful places throughout Michigan.
I also believe that my experiences this summer allowed me to grow in a professional capacity. I often worked in a team with two other fantastic interns who were motivated and committed to producing the best quality work. Collaboratively, we were able to complete projects that far exceeded my own expectations. Speaking to and corresponding with clients regularly on projects such as Scio’s EDAC report also allowed me to improve my skills and confidence communicating.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that Carlisle/Wortman Associates provided to me. I came away with great respect for Carlisle/Wortman Associates’ expertise in the planning field and their dedication to representing the best interests of their clients. I’m able to walk away this summer with practical experience, a sense of fulfillment in having helped Michigan communities, and great memories created with great people.