Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects


Renée Wiles

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


During the spring 2009 semester I had the opportunity to intern with the United Way in Cobb County. United Way in Cobb is one of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s (UWMA) thirteen county offices, and their primary focus is to execute the mission and vision of UWMA to the residents of Cobb County.

United Way in Cobb selected me to be an intern in their Community Engagement Department, which is responsible for building and reinforcing the UWMA brand as well as communicating with – and serving as an advocate for – UWMA’s key customers. My primary tasks as an intern were to support the Associate Area Director of Community Engagement and to help build the framework for UWMA’s upcoming five-year strategic plan.

Over the course of the semester I participated in numerous community outreach activities, attended community and advisory board meetings, as well as created valuable partnerships within the nonprofit community. In addition, I did an extensive amount of work compiling, sorting, and analyzing reports and data to be used in UWMA’s upcoming strategic plan. Moreover, I worked closely with the Associate Area Director of Community Engagement, Rashid Mosley, to create a comprehensive Microsoft Access Database containing UWMA’s Cobb assets, resources, and current program outcomes.

Many of my classes proved to be particularly salient this experience. These were: Public Service Budgeting, Program Evaluation, Nonprofit Governance, and Philanthropy in the Nonprofit Sector. Through my internship, I was able to gain a better understanding of theories and principles learned in these classes.

This internship has been an extremely fruitful and rewarding experience, and if I could make any recommendation to my academic department, it would be to encourage more students to participate in an internship experience.