Internships offer professional training with Maricopa County

MCLEAPS interns Jerad McDaniel and Laura Gaona

Arizona State University students have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience and professional development with the Maricopa County Leadership and Education Advancing Public Service program, or MCLEAPS.

The deadline to apply for a paid internship with Maricopa County has been extended to April 6.

For geography senior Lindsey Thomas, getting the internship with Maricopa County was exactly what she needed.

“This has been a terrific, terrific internship,” said Thomas. “One of the best experiences I have had while going to school.”

Thomas worked at the Maricopa Air Quality Department with government relations liason Frank Schinzel. She got to see how the agency enforced rules and regulations and how it interacted with businesses and other public agencies. What surprised her was the interest the county had in her own development.

“I've never had a person take a vested interest in my career or as a person – my growth and experience,” Thomas said. “They want to have me look at everything and see the big picture, and with Frank, that's really one of the best things I have experienced.”

Thomas was one of more than a half dozen ASU students who interned during the fall 2014 semester.

Criminal justice majors Laura Gaona and Jared McDaniel interned with the Justice System Planning and Information, part of the County Manager’s Office. They got to tour facilities, sit in on meetings and learn how the county’s criminal justice related agencies fit together.

“What was great about this is actually being able to apply the knowledge you learn in the classroom – hands-on – and being able to see exactly how it works and why it works,” McDaniel said. “Being able to see it directly in the community is huge. It helps solidify my education.”

Gaona appreciated the hands-on learning as well as the professional development offered by the county.

“The nice thing about MCLEAPS is that it offers us training besides what we did for our internships,” said Gaona. “So we learned about giving and getting feedback. We learned about the art of listening. And these are things that you can use anywhere, regardless of what career you end up going into.”

“We feel very strongly about our professional development program,” said Timothy Snyder, an administrative manager in the Maricopa County Human Resources Department. “And really that's the foundation of anything, whether you are a private sector employee or a public sector employee. You're really going to get a lot out of that because those transcend the public-private lines.”

MCLEAPS interns receive the professional development training during the 40 hours they are required to work each week. They receive a stipend of $4,700 for the semester and a tuition and fee waiver for up to 12 credit hours for the semester.

The internship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Those interested must fill out an application and a resume, unofficial transcript and a personal statement of interest that describes how the internship fits with their academic and career goals.

Students must also select one office to intern with:

• Maricopa County Treasurer's Office
• Air Quality Department
• Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA)
• Maricopa County Attorney – Investigations Division
• Maricopa County Attorney – Victim Services Division
• Public Fiduciary
• Flood Control District of Maricopa County
• Adult Probation
• Department of Transportation – Communications
• Office of Enterprise Technology – Project Management Office

Before applying, ASU students should examine the available internship positions to make sure they are a right fit for the job. Talking with an academic adviser or internship coordinator is suggested to make sure students can balance the internship with their current and future class load. Those who are interested have until April 6 to submit an application.

For more information, visit: or contact internship coordinator Maryjo Zunk at