By MINDY MCKENZIE
Daily Globe Staff Reporter
SHELBY- City Hall has welcomed Phattaraporn ‘Tongta’ Smith as their newest intern to serve the community.
Mayor Steven Schag explained in December, he attended a gathering for North Central State College and The Ohio State University-Mansfield with students who were seeking to become interns.
“This was an internship program that was offered, either paid or unpaid. NCSC hosts this program and they bring in a number of businesses and nonprofit organizations and each student is given about five minutes to introduce themselves. The interns sit down and talk about what they are looking for and they have a resume of what they have done and so forth. I probably talked to about five interns that day and Tongta was one of them,” Schag stated.
After the program, Schag explained Smith sent him a follow up letter.
“We looked over some resumes and I had phone conversations, but it seemed like it was a nice arrangement here for Tongta. This isn’t exactly her field of study, but it does have to do with mathematics, accounting and spreadsheets. I knew she had the talents to develop our economic development spreadsheet,” Schag said.
From there, Smith was offered to become an intern with the City of Shelby and her first official day was on February 7, 2017.
“She is here about five to six hours a week and comes straight here from class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It has really worked out very well,” Schag stated.
Smith explained she is a student with NCSC and is majoring in accounting. Smith is originally from Thailand, however, moved to the area when she married her husband.
One specific task Smith has been working on as an intern has included collecting primary and secondary data for the economic development data base.
“She’s been working very hard on this and she has been doing a great job. She’s been gathering information from what the former data base had on businesses. The police have also helped with some data they had as well. Tongta has spent a lot of time with this and now we are at the stage of actually confirming everything,” Schag stated.
Smith will be traveling to businesses and non profit organizations in the city to meet and greet with owners, Schag explained.
“We totaled up about 210 businesses within the city, from large to small. When you start putting it all together it is amazing to see what is up and down the streets,” Schag said.
Schag explained the potential to have interns in the city is a strong possibility.
“We are very happy with this. Tongta has been a real help to our city. If there are places that we can find a spot for interns, then yes we will keep doing this. We want it to be profitable for both parties, I don’t just want to bring them here and find busy work for them. We have talked about looking into it and this worked out well this year. We have had a positive experience with it,” Schag stated.
Smith explained she has enjoyed her time working with the city of Shelby.
“We plan to continue through summer. I will graduate in 2018 and everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming. It has been really positive.”