From Intern to Analyst

Posted on June 5, 2019

Jackie English

This blog is by ResourceX Data Analyst Jackie English with an introduction from ResourceX’s Erik Fabian.

From Erik:

Jackie first reached out to ResourceX in April 2018. At the time, ResourceX was not advertising or recruiting for an intern. There was no such position. But through an internship with the City of Greeley, CO (a ResourceX client), Jackie was familiar with the company and believed in their approach of priority based budgeting and PBB’s impact on the community.

In April 2018, Jackie took it upon herself to solicit ResourceX with an intern proposition. She wrote:

“My name is Jacquelyn English and I am a third year student at University of Denver. I am looking for a summer internship and have a passion for working in or for local governments. I have extensive experience working in a variety of departments in the City of Greeley (my hometown) and worked to implement priority based budgeting into the City of Greeley last summer. I have attached my resume for any further questions you may have. I would be thoroughly interested in any internship opportunities you have and/or any suggestions you have for working to improve local governments.”

Approximately one month later, Jackie was hired as ResourceX’s first paid intern. Here’s ResourceX’s press release from May 2018.

Now in June 2019, through Jackie’s enthusiasm, talent, and significant contributions, she will be joining ResourceX later this month as a full-time Operations & Data Analyst. And we at ResourceX couldn’t be more thrilled to have her (officially) join our team.

With the recent publication of the #ELGLInspire year in review, we thought we’d interview and learn a bit more about Jackie’s “From Student Intern to Analyst” story and path.

From Jackie:

I’m Jacquelyn English and I live in Denver and Greeley, Colorado. I’m currently an Operations and Data Analyst for ResourceX.

Favorite #localgov organization (and why):

Colorado Women Leading Government; I just came back from the inaugural conference. At the conference, everyone was able to speak openly about their experiences and learn from each other for greater personal and professional development.

Having just entered the workforce, I am grateful to have all these local government employees, especially women, to learn from and be encouraged by.

Thoughts on #ELGLInspire:

I am beyond excited about the prospect of this project. This initiative started to highlight opportunities in local government to undergraduate students. I know that my deep involvement in local government from a young age is rare and I have often been frustrated by how all policy and economic conversation centers around national and international levels of government. I fully believe that when a student who truly cares about policy, economics, the environment, planning, etc. is exposed to the power of local governments, they will become interested. I love the #ELGLInspire series for the spotlight it shines on local governments at the undergraduate level and the ability it has to increase interest.

Educational background?

I am a soon-to-be (June 2019) graduate from the University of Denver! In June I will be receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Economics with minors in Business Analytics and Leadership Studies.

Why I initially reached out to ResourceX for the internship?

I worked in the City of Greeley as a Finance Intern (summers 2016 -2017) and during that time I assisted the City of Greeley in their transition to priority based budgeting. Throughout that process, I began to see the awesome power that PBB has. For me, PBB has 3 key powerful benefits to any organization that chooses to use it:

  1. Improved communication of the budget
  2. Data-driven decision making
  3. Creates a culture of critical thinking that constantly reinforces a city’s desired results and vision/mission/values

As an intern on the client side, I’ll be the first to admit these three benefits do not happen overnight. They require a lot of effort. But, I saw the great power that PBB had and knew I wanted to start helping other communities achieve these benefits as well.

I’m incredibly grateful for the City of Greeley, Victoria Runkle and Roy Otto, for giving me the chance to learn about PBB. Because of that exposure, I sought out ResourceX for an opportunity to work for them. And the rest is history!

What I’ve been doing for RX:

Most impactful project

I had the chance to work with Chamblee, GA to help them cost and score their programs during an implementation workshop. That was awesome because the progress was visible and within a few weeks, the entire organization was able to look at their budget from a programmatic level.

The work done during these workshops is invaluable and at the end, a client can begin to see all the pieces of PBB come together.

Best project

I had an absolute blast working on our Leadership Initiative. I felt so honored to be able to be a presenter in the first week when we discussed leadership and self-awareness. Seeing those themes come up consistently throughout the six week course was gratifying.

Also, the projects that people came up with were inspiring. It was a lot of fun talking to clients week over week and hearing them dream big with PBB in their own organization and then figure out how to make that dream become a reality.

Dream project

I really want to see our program mapping initiative take off. I think communities have a strong need for systematically identifying and creating partnership opportunities and I think ResourceX is uniquely positioned to meet this need. We can be catalysts for change and teamwork.

I eventually see this becoming a platform not only creating partnership opportunities but becoming a source of valuable data for cost benchmarking as well.

And when you take it to that level, there’s no telling where else mining that data could lead. I love the untapped potential of this project!

Why I decided to take the full-time position?

As soon as I understood priority based budgeting, I immediately believed in it. I believe ResourceX has the power to incrementally and yet significantly change the world. This full-time position gives me to opportunity to work even harder to support and advance this belief.

Ultimately, I decided to work for ResourceX because I love this company. I love what it stands for, how it operates, and who I have the pleasure of working with every day.

What am I most excited about working for ResourceX full-time?

The “start-up” culture is amazing to work for. One of my most appreciated aspects of working for ResourceX overall is that we operate from a place of passion. Everyone is encouraged to pursue their passions and interests, run with it, and see how far it goes.

Along with this, the company is small enough to be experimental and nimble enough to innovate and create best practices from these experiments. There is something absolutely exciting about having the opportunity to be apart of something so innovative.

Also, I’m very excited about to opportunity to meet and travel to clients. Given my ultimate interest in being a public servant and hopeful city manager, having the ability to travel across the country (and maybe Canada!) to learn about how different municipalities operate serves as an endless source of knowledge that can only help me as I begin my professional journey.

Why local government? Why finance/budgeting?

As unrealistic as it may be, I grew up wanting to make positive change in the world. Government operations has always appealed to me. As such, I joined my local Youth Commission when I was 13 and served as the Chairperson for 4 of the 5 years I was lucky enough to be a part of that great community.

Even with this exposure to local government though, I still graduated high school thinking I was going to join the House of Representatives one day and “make real change.”

In my first year of college, it became abundantly apparent that federal levels of government operated too politically for me. During the summer, I first interned for the City of Greeley Finance office. That internship underscored that the power to “make real change” – the thing I’d always been searching for – is in local towns, cities, and counties all across the country.

I want to serve local governments because I believe local governments are uniquely positioned to best know and serve their citizens and therefore foster a deep sense of community.

This sense of community is a springboard for the rest of the powerful things local governments can accomplish. I just want to be a part of it!

I am particularly drawn to local government budgeting because I find that puzzle and challenge of a budget very intriguing. I enjoy using my analytic skills to figure out how to pay for all the things that make a community so great to live in. Priority based budgeting makes this easier too!

Fun stuff – what am I reading, what are some other hobbies/interests?

I haven’t read for leisure in quite some time; I am looking forward to graduating and being able to get back to reading for fun instead of for assignments! With that said, I was assigned to read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and it was a very enjoyable book to read.

In addition to reading, my other favorite pastimes include watching the Colorado Rockies and spending time with my family and two new puppies. Give me a baseball game to watch and a dog to pet and I’m about as happy as I could be!

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