#ELGLInspire is coming to Texas A&M University on November 13th! Learn more about our event speakers in these brief profiles, and connect with them before and after the event! To find information about all of the speakers, visit the #ELGLInspire homepage.
City Manager, City of Kilgore
What was the very first paying job you held (that you paid taxes on)?
Seed Corn Farm Laborer – Detassling corn – First non-agricultural job was a Water Meter Technician for the Williamsport, PA Municipal Water Authority.
What was your: undergraduate institution? Graduate institution? What was/were your degree(s) in?
BA – Political Science, Clarion University of Pennsylvania – 2000; Masters of Public Administration, Texas Tech University – 2004; Master of Science Personal Financial Planning, Texas Tech University – 2005
What class(es) (if any) are applicable to your job today?
All of them – Pay attention even when you can’t imagine ever using the info. You never know when you might need info about something that you’re not remotely interested in.
What book are you currently reading? Would you recommend it?
Hop on Pop (with my 5yo) It’s a good read if you can sound out all the words… Also, on my own I read mostly trade journals related to City Management or Public Works.
What’s the best networking advice for job seekers you’ve heard or shared?
Internships are invaluable while in college. Do several if you can, and don’t worry about the money. Figure out what you think you want to do, find someone who does it, and ask if they have paid internships, but if not, offer to do it for free. Experience is great, but a positive relationship with that person will be most valuable when trying to find a full-time paying job.
What’s the fastest way to NOT get a job or internship with you? (e.g. what should potential applicants avoid doing if they were to ever interview with you for a position).
Everyone in college has already proven their ability to learn, and as such in an entry level job, just about anyone in college is qualified already to learn a new job. However, attitude and personality can not be taught. It takes a minimum of 5 years to become well rounded in any profession, and as such, the number one thing that someone interviewing for a job or intership can do to NOT get the position is to have a bad attitude, be too eager to move up the ladder too fast, or be unwilling to learn something new. As an asside, one recent interviewee remarked that it wasn’t too important for him to give a two week notice to his current job, and that person was immediately cut from consideration.
Why should an undergraduate student consider a career working in local government?
No one else in government gets to do what we do. No one gets to make as big of a difference for people who matter to them than those who work in their local communities and help to make their towns or Cities a better place to be with good roads, parks, public safety, aesthetics, etc. When you work in local government, you get to see the fruits of your labor immediately, and you get to know who your work benefits. It is the most rewarding thing that I could imagine doing.
Do you have a work or life motto? What is it?
“Life is an adventure and to waste a single moment, a single opportunity is a sin.”