For the summer I interned for the US Coast Guard in their Portfolio Management Branch. My projects largely resulted from President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security directives to reduce the footprint of the government. The directives were put in place for two reasons:
1)The costs for the Coast Guard’s leased portfolio have ballooned over the past few years beyond a sustainable level and
2)It is the believed that if the federal government vacates leased spaces it can open up new facilities for private sector use to spur more economic activity.
The internship was a great experience into how military/federal planning works in the United States. On a daily basis I worked with my boss, senior planners, and space planners with regards to the projects at hand. Most days consisted of meetings with my coworkers about the projects in addition to teleconferences with individual Coast Guard units.
In addition to the day to day work schedule, I was also sent on a business trip for 7 days to Washington D.C. and Norfolk for my main summer project. The project consisted of a Coast Guard relocation project to move 300 Coast Guard personnel and redesign Coast Guard spaces as part of a larger effort to save $31 million in leases costs (to be implemented in 2013). I was involved in all aspects of the relocation, from drafting/assessing alternatives, creating memos presented to Headquarters, and developing cost estimates for the chosen course of action. The business trip I was sent on consisted of numerous meetings with individual Coast Guard unit Captains as well as several Lieutenants and Captains within the Coast Guard’s Headquarters.
In addition to my main project there were several smaller projects I worked on for the Coast Guard. While I was involved in numerous projects, the three main additional projects consisted of a post occupancy evaluation for a newly redesigned Coast Guard facility, drawing and compiling demolition and furniture plans for a new project in Oakland, and writing reports about eliminating several Coast Guard facilities in order to reduce costs.
Overall I had a great summer internship with the Coast Guard. It was a unique experience within the planning sector and not only provided an excellent test of personal skills but also established new interests within the real estate side of planning. Plans are being made between my boss and I to continue working with the Coast Guard during the upcoming school year in addition to after school.
– Adam Rubin, 2nd Year MPL, Concentration: Design and Preservation of the Built Environment