AACO Summer Internship Program

AACO offers internship opportunities for high school and college students to gain experience in civic engagement and contribute to their communities. Through partnerships with local organizations, our interns are provided many unique and educational experiences that they will carry with them throughout their educational and professional careers. We have had interns work in places from the Ohio State House to the Warren County Health Department. There are endless opportunities for learning and exploration with an AACO internship, so make the best of them!

*The program is open to all Ohio residents who are supportive of the AACO mission and vision and are either a student in high school or an undergraduate/graduate college student. 

Past Intern Testimonials

Between May 30 and July 28, I interned for the Franklin County Auditor real estate division hoping to gain work experience and learn more about how a government office functions.

Going to the office, I didn't know what to expect. The auditor's office was a foreign place to me. However, I was able to glean two main takeaways from my internship experience at the end of the summer: 

(1) From the 20th floor of the Franklin county government center you have a really nice view of the city, and 

(2) I have learned the function of a board of revision, the place where I worked. Basically, when you are unsatisfied with your property value you can contest it by filing a form electronically or in person at you county auditor's website or office. You then are scheduled to go to a hearing, where it is determined if your challenge has merit. A school district can also counter-file against your challenge, (and even file a complaint against the value of your house, common if the house was recently transferred). The BOR is a quasi-legal body, featuring lawyers and witnesses and swearing oaths under the penalty of perjury, and cases can be appealed up to Ohio's Supreme Court, so working on that was fun.

A lot of my work centered on government records which must be transparent and accessible online. Therefore, they have to be scanned and cataloged, and much of my work revolved around completing these tasks. It was tedious at times, but I learned the importance of thorough documentation and organized record keeping. In conclusion, it was a fun experience. My supervisor was very nice, and the real estate division supervisor kindly left a lollipop at my desk on my last day : )

- 2023 Columbus AACO Intern

This summer, I was lucky enough to intern in the office of State Representative Beth Liston. I have always been very interested in law, government, and politics, so I was very excited to gain a new perspective on how the government actually operates, especially since most news is largely focused on the national government. 

My goal during my internship was to gain a better understanding of how the legislative process actually works, as well as how to best utilize legislation to affect change.

Throughout my internship, I gained valuable insight into the work of my local state representatives. I helped answer emails, take calls, and research legislation. I learned about how the state budget is created, debated, refined, and passed, along with all the people involved in each stage, from those giving testimonies about specific parts of the budget to those revising each detail and every line in the final legislation. One of the highlights of my experience was being able to attend an actual Ohio House of Representatives session and watch the voting process for many pieces of legislation. It was a very interesting and informative part of my internship; it helped me understand the sheer amount of work that goes into producing a single bill and the impact a single vote can have on millions of peoples’ lives.

Overall, I had a fantastic experience at my internship, and I was able to learn a lot of new skills and meet a lot of new people. I would like to extend my thanks to the Representative Liston for having me at her office this Summer and for all her work in making the lives of Ohians better. Thank you as well to AACO Columbus advisors, Vincent Wang and Hong Qiu, for helping connect me to this opportunity.

- 2023 Columbus AACO Intern

Over the course of this summer, I interned at the Ohio House of Representatives

As a young person, it is often incredibly difficult to find professional internships, much less as a high schooler. However, this program allowed me to gain experience working alongside individuals in college, graduate students, and people with established political careers. I was able to learn so much! 

For example, I was able to witness first-hand

the amount of time, preparation, and dedication many elected officials and their staff put into to make sure that their constituents’ voices are heard and reflected in the policy that they create. One of my most memorable experiences was researching policy initiatives related to the pressing issues of gun violence and domestic abuse, which I was then able to report on to legislative staff to aid them when writing legislation. But even beyond working in the office itself, AACO held a variety of seminars and training to help acquaint us with the professional atmosphere, which enabled me to build key leadership skills, including communication and organization, prior to entering the workplace. 

Above all, my internship was memorable for the people that I met along the way. My fellow interns were incredibly inspiring, passionate, and diligent, and I cannot wait to hopefully work with them again in the future. In addition, I am so appreciative of my colleagues at the Ohio House for making me feel so welcome and for allowing me to learn from them and to have fun with them this summer. My time as an intern was truly unforgettable, and I am incredibly grateful to AACO for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

- 2022 Columbus AACO Intern

Over the past 2 months, I had the pleasure of interning with the Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano’s Office. This position has taught me so much about what my future career path might look like. 

One thing I learned was that some parts of a job might not be very fun, such as filing papers and scanning papers. However, some tasks, like working on Excel sheets and other computer programs, were very engaging and interesting. Some other things I have learned include taking more responsibility. This would include the urge to check your phone while working, or slacking off when you’re supposed to be focused. Lastly, I learned that if you ever need help, just ask around. The people at my internship were really kind and helped me through a lot of trouble. I am really thankful for the opportunity from the auditors and AACO for this opportunity to experience what it was like to wake up and go to work. 

Not many people have this opportunity at such a young age, and I'm grateful that I was able to go through it.

- 2022 Columbus AACO Intern

My internship with the Warren County Auditor’s Office was a great experience for me to learn how the government works and what kinds of activities that go on behind the scenes. In addition, it was great to be able to delve a little deeper into the technological side with the IT team and be able to see the process of creating a new software from scratch.

- 2022 Cincinnati AACO Intern

I have enjoyed my internship in the Office of Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval. During this learning experience, I got to answer phone calls and assist Cincinnati's residents by tracking their concerns and requests. Although I could not directly nor immediately help resolve every callers’ concerns, I am glad that I am at least able to bring attention to their concerns by documenting and entering their call into the Constituent Portal. 

Also, I deeply enjoyed being in the presence of Mayor Pureval. During his speeches, he is a powerful and clear speaker who addresses questions directly and confidently. Outside of his work, he is a very humorous and approachable person who is always willing to socialize with others. I respect how he is an overall great person.

- 2022 Cincinnati AACO Intern

During the course of my internship with the Warren County Health Office, I spent 3 weeks at the Health Department, which handles things such as Covid vaccines and immunizations, and 3 weeks at the Environmental Department, which tends to things such as birth and death records and building, food, and septic permits. 

I answered the phone, greeted customers

at the front desk, shredded drawers full of papers containing sensitive information and patient names, scanned and indexed building and sewage permits, septic and pumping reports, and other miscellaneous documents into OnBase, inputted information into HDIS (Health Department Information System), prepared envelopes and invoices for mailing, stamped envelopes, organized documents, listened in on meetings, and handled some smaller tasks. 

- 2022 Cincinnati AACO Intern

During the duration of my internship with the Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel’s Office, I entered the office as an observing stranger and exited the office as a valuable team player. I am shocked by the amount of knowledge and experience I have obtained within the past two months and amazed by the amount of effort, support, and trust that the city staff put in me during my time on their team. 

The jump between school and corporate was farther than I imagined, therefore, this internship exposed me to skills I could not have learned elsewhere. From the beginning, my main purpose was to get a holistic view on how the city operates. I got the opportunity to

meet one-on-one with each department director to learn about their role in the city and their journey to their current position. I really appreciated how inquisitive and approachable the staff were. Once settled, as a team member, I conducted research, attended meetings, provided feedback, and even made impactful decisions. I received projects from a variety of departments. The first project I received was a literature study on noncorrosive deicers for the engineering department. Dublin recently built a multi million dollar pedestrian bridge and hopes to keep it open during the winter time. I was asked to research the best way to deice the bridge while avoiding corrosion. Once finished, I wrote an executive summary, with a recommendation, for the Director of Asset Management and the City Manager.

Looking back, the one word that sums my summer up is the word GROWTH -- growth in experiences, growth in connections, and growth for the city.

- 2022 Columbus AACO Intern

Throughout this past summer, I interned at the Franklin County Engineer’s Office (FCEO)

During my time at the Franklin County Engineer’s Office, I got to experience the many inner workings of government construction and an outwards perspective on civil engineering. Some meetings I attended varied from overviews of the various ongoing and future projects the FCEO is working on to discussing the most accident prone areas of the county and the measures in place or being made to mitigate the risks associated at those intersections. 

I helped import construction invoices on ongoing projects throughout the county to the new construction management software e-Builder. I also got to visit many active construction sites to learn about the operations of construction contractors and the work they do alongside the Franklin County Engineers. 

Through this internship, I learned to better communicate with others in a professional environment and learned a little bit about civil engineering along the way. The experiences from this internship have helped me understand how the government works and where to look to affect change. It's everyone’s civic duty to know how the government works and to participate as it is the essence of our democracy.

I am very grateful to FCEO and AACO for this wonderful experience!

- 2022 Columbus AACO Intern