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Prince William County Planning Office Internship Program

​The Prince William County Planning Office is offering year-round internship positions for assistance on various planning projects. We are seeking knowledgeable and self-motivated planning students for both short-term and long-term internship positions. The program offers an opportunity for students to gain an introduction to real-world planning in a municipal planning office. The PWC Planning Office is responsible for the review of development applications including rezonings, special use permits, comprehensive plan amendments, agricultural and forestal district applications, zoning approvals, zoning appeals and variances, public facility reviews, and long-range planning and mapping. The office also acts as staff to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Historical Commission, Agricultural and Forestal Districts Advisory Committee, Architectural Review Board, and the Trails and Blueways Council.

The internship position in the planning profession often represents the first practical contact a student planner makes with the profession. Successful internships yield valuable insight and practical knowledge for students as they refine their educational and career paths. Interns are typically more marketable as they search for permanent employment because of their additional experience in the planning profession and potentially receiving a positive reference for future employment. The length of the internships (from the summer months, a semester, and up to a year), hours per week, expected tasks, amount of supervision, and areas of specialization may vary.

Minimum Qualifications

An intern in the Planning Office must be able to work independently with direction from planning staff. There is a preference for graduate students in a planning program, but undergraduate planning degree students and those from other disciplines with a strong interest and motivation for planning may be considered. In addition, the following knowledge and skills are required:

  • Understanding of core planning principles
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently, as well as with project teams
  • Flexibility and desire to work on a wide-variety of planning projects 

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with design programs such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, and SketchUp
  • Experience with Esri ArcGIS
  • Knowledge related to planning specialties

Responsibilities

There are a number of assignments and tasks that interns would be assisting on across the divisions of the Planning Office, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Provide support to a team of planners
  • Assist staff in collecting/preparing data for various planning projects
  • Manage a meeting calendar, create and mail committee meeting packages
  • Conduct field work, collect parcel data, and search land records
  • Produce sketches and renderings of limited or variable complexity
  • Assist planning staff at community meetings
  • Research funding sources and support grant proposals
  • Conduct basic office functions as needed, such as data entry, file management, and customer service

Expectations

It is the goal of the Planning Office to hire interns that are able to assist with everyday tasks and assignments. All interns must demonstrate the ability to work independently with limited oversight. Below are specific tasks targeted for interns organized by Planning Office division.

Community Development Division

  • Assist on special projects such as those related to community and economic development
  • Research various community and economic development topics
  • Graphics, mapping, presentation, and document design/production
  • Assist in researching and drafting grant applications
  • Review development applications from the Community Development Division perspective 

Long-Range Division

  • Assist with the Comprehensive Plan Update
  • Review and rewrite the FAQs web page
  • Assist with agricultural and forestal district analysis and review
  • Staff report mapping and graphics
  • Open space mapping and research
  • Compile a public facility review procedures manual
  • Zoning text amendment research
  • Data input/map creation for pre-application meetings
  • Parcels surveyed data entry

Zoning Administration Division

  • Zoning research including assistance with non-conforming use verifications for lots, uses, and structures
  • Assist the Proffer Administrator
  • Special use permit research and site visits

Current Planning Division

  • Assist case planners with research
  • Application quality control/intake review
  • Various administrative tasks including close-out procedures, filing, and scanning of documents

The Planning Office accepts resumes and cover letters year-round, and conducts interviews when the workload is suitable for hiring an intern. For more information on the internship program contact Ryan Foster, Community Development Manager, at rfoster@pwcgov.org or call 703-792-7359.

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