MPP student Max Gigle recounts his internship experience at the Rhode Island Office of Innovation, where he developed an infrastructure for the state government’s websites.
Max Gigle: My name is Max Gigle and I interned at the Rhode Island Office of Innovation, and did a project at the Rhode Island Division of Information Technology.
I was fortunate enough to connect with a number of people around the United States who all pointed to Rhode Island as a great place to be doing design and innovation in government. Shortly enough, I was talking to the people in the Office of Innovation. So I connected with them and ended up working in both of those offices.
The state government has a number of websites that are not governed by an overarching Web structure. The specific project I was working on was to help design the rules of engagement on how someone might design a new website underneath an information architecture for the state websites.
Entering grad school, I was very interested in design and innovation in government, and the experience only stoked my interest in working in innovation. There are some really hard working, passionate people working on the ground in Rhode Island. I was very fortunate to learn from them and learn what it actually means to work innovation into government practice.
Some advice for the incoming student: The internship is a great experience, and one of the best experiences to apply practically what you’re gonna learn in grad school and where you might get opportunities after grad school. So what I would suggest for anybody coming in, if you’re looking to design your own internship, figure out what you like the most out of your year. Figure out what you want to do, what you want to explore. Put those down and start networking as soon as possible. Reach out to the people here at Ford School, your fellow students, reach out to your professional network. Make lists and work your way through them, and talk about exactly how they can give perspective to you in your second year, as well as in your professional endeavors outside of it.
Eventually, you’ll start talking to people that have internships, and you can go from there to see if those might be of interest to you in the summer in between your two years.