City internship kick-started WSU grad's career
One of the things Angela Buzard enjoys most about her job is the opportunity to provide direct assistance to communities.
Buzard is director of the Environmental Finance Center – housed in Wichita State University’s Hugo Wall School for Urban and Public Affairs. The Center provides environmental finance training and assistance to communities in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.
She graduated from WSU in 2006 with a master’s in public administration, having earned her undergraduate degree in environmental studies from the University of Kansas. In the summer after she graduated, Buzard took an internship with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Wanting to someday continue down a career path in public administration, Buzard came to Wichita – specifically to attend WSU’s graduate school.
Through her graduate studies, she found a desire to work with local governments and decided to apply for an internship with the City of Wichita.
Buzard was hired as an intern for one year in the city of Wichita manager’s office. Her job included handling special projects for the city manager, assistant city managers and various city department heads.
Shortly before graduating, Buzard was offered a job with McPherson County, and relocated to become the county’s planning and zoning administrator. The move allowed her to live closer to her fiance and also provided an opportunity to work with a small local government.
She was there for 18 months before deciding to return to Wichita State. Buzard became executive officer of the REAP Water Resources Committee, a position she held for two years.
She then took her current position at the Environmental Finance Center in 2009.
“I like this job most because it’s a great opportunity for me to blend my education in environmental science and public administration,” Buzard said.
An opportunity made easier by the chance to get real-world experience while she was still a student. Buzard credits the Hugo Wall School with preparing her for the internship and the city and county for providing the opportunities.
“The internships are a great way to provide local government experience in a large organization, and it really gives you the ability to apply classwork,” Buzard said. “It gives you the experience to get the full-time career opportunity.”