My name is Rohini Vijayan, and I am an executive intern (policy analyst) at the City of Saskatoon, Community Standards division. My mentor is Todd Olexson, Parking Policy and Permitting Manager at Community Standards division. The primary role assigned to me during the internship is to assist in the policy development of the city's accessible parking permit program along with veterans parking permit program, and other special parking permits for government officials.
As a public administration student, I have learned the theoretical process of developing public policy, and now I am learning how to apply them in the real policy world. In my current role as an intern, I am fortunate to be part of updating the public policy of accessible parking permits as my duties involve collecting archived data, evaluating city traffic bylaws from other jurisdictions, attending stakeholder consultation meetings, participating in open-house engagements, and collaborating with several senior policy experts from other provinces and with the province's arm's length agencies such as SaskAbilities for data collection and curation. My mentor has been very supportive of my work and has helped to familiarize me with city bylaws and policy-making procedures.
My time at the City of Saskatoon has been really helpful in giving me a contextual understanding of the public policy development process and the application of theory in the execution of the policy cycles. This, combined with the theoretical knowledge I gained from my MPA program, has been tremendously valuable in helping me excel in my learning. It has been exhilarating to work with experienced practitioners and to learn about policy development from them firsthand.