Jacob Griffiths: Internship

Jacob Griffiths

What are your majors?
Urban & Regional Studies and Political Science

Where was your internship placement?
City of Big Lake, MN

What did your general duties involve?
I worked with our City Planner to enforce the city code and zoning regulations, as well as process zoning permits, conditional use permits and performing site inspections. When I wasn't doing that I was helping finish up the Big Lake Comprehensive Plan, or doing research of what other Cities in Minnesota were doing from a planning perspective. I also was able to present to the Big Lake Planning Commission and City Council several times over the summer on several requests from residents of the community.

What was your most memorable experience?
While working for the City of Big Lake I was able to attend the "Bikeable Community Workshop" that Big Lake was selected for by the state of Minnesota. I was able to be one of many other city staff, elected officials, decision makers and community members who spent their day learning about ways our city could better support active transportation. Taking part in this workshop was a really cool experience because it allowed me to see how the policymaking process in local governments take place, and how sometimes just a simple workshop can turn into so much more. By the time my internship had come to a close, there was a whole new community board whose goal was to make Big Lake a bikeable community.

Has your internship influenced your career path?
Before doing this internship I really had very little experience in the field, working with residents of a community you work in. Over the course of the summer I was able to learn so much from the City Staff I worked with, many of which really took me under their wing to teach me the ins and outs of City Planning and Community Development. After completing my internship, I couldn't be more sure of my career path.