Local student completes internship with Tamaqua Borough
Megan Heckman, right, poses for a picture next to Tamaqua Borough Manager Kevin Steigerwalt. JUSTIN CARLUCCI/TIMES NEWS
A Kutztown University senior completed a challenging and rewarding few months with the Tamaqua Borough.
Megan Heckman, a former Panther Valley High School graduate, started with the borough in August 2018 and just wrapped up her 400-hour, 12-credit internship earlier this week.
Heckman completed a wide variety of tasks and assignments during her stint with the organization, ranging from feasibility studies and City Revitalization and Improvement Zone research to attending meetings and assisting with the Tamaqua Chamber.
“I want a career that I can help people with,” she said. “I was able to do that here in an entrepreneur sense; helping them get money for CRIZ and start their businesses. I’m learning how to help people in different ways that I didn’t really know about.”
Heckman mainly worked directly under the supervision of the borough’s Director of Community Development, Ann Marie Calabrese.
“I have had the pleasure of being Megan’s mentor since the end of August,” Calabrese said. “Not only was she eager and motivated to absorb all that she could over her 400-hour internship, but she was personable and truly interested in the work that she was doing. I appreciate all of her dedication to make some of my streamlining ideas a reality. Her passion and people skills will take her wherever she wants to go. I know that she will always look back on her time at the borough as not only an educational, but also an enjoyable experience.”
A large portion of Heckman’s work dealt with CRIZ, but she’ll be able to apply many different aspects of her intern experience to her future endeavors.
“Learning how to work with the public was a big one; learning how to defuse different situations,” Heckman said. “And so was learning how local government works. I was able to see it on a day-to-day basis here.”
Heckman is a public administration major. She graduates from KU next week.
“She taught me so much,” Heckman said of her mentor. “Not only working in community development and local government, but life itself; lessons that I’ll always be able to take with me.”