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ASU grad nabs major internship with city of Phoenix

May 15, 2008

Mayra Baquera is taking a huge step on her path to managing a city.

After receiving her master’s degree in public administration from the School of Public Affairs from ASU May 8, she’ll enter the Phoenix Management Intern Program, one of the nation’s most prestigious in the field of public administration.

She’s one of three interns selected among more than 100 highly qualified applicants from across the nation for the yearlong program, which will provide her with a firsthand look at the city’s efforts to address some of its most pressing issues.

She’ll gain experience closely working with city leaders during rotational assignments in the city manager’s office, and departments such as budget and research, aviation, public works and water services.

“I think this is the beginning of my career and becoming a good manager and leader,” says Baquera, 27. “I’ve seen my skills evolve since I began the program at ASU, so this will be a natural progression to practice them.”

Many of the city’s top-level executives started their careers in the internship program. Former participants include Martin Vanacour, associate director of the School of Public Affairs, who says he learned skills that have lasted a lifetime.

“The experiences from that one year, and the prestige of the program, gave me opportunities to move quickly through various positions to fulfill my goal of becoming a city manager,” Vanacour says.

Baquera, the first in her family to receive an undergraduate and graduate education, has a passion for making a difference in the Phoenix community where she has spent most of her life. She’s a research assistant for the Alliance for Innovation, an ASU partnership networking association for cities and counties committed to innovation and transforming local government.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from ASU in 2003, she worked as a case manager at a nonprofit shelter for undocumented children. Last year, she was selected for the Department of State’s Summer Internship Program and worked in the Public Affairs section at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Upon her return, Mayra pursued classes in urban management at the College of Public Programs. She also has served as a volunteer for the Victim Services Division of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Corey Schubert,
(602) 496-0406
College of Public Programs