Austin Tech Alliance is blessed with dedicated interns who use their time and talent to help further ATA’s mission of promoting civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector.
In this profile, meet Allison Meskill, a Notre Dame student who interned with ATA during the summer of 2018.
What got you interested in interning for Austin Tech Alliance?
I was initially interested in interning for Austin Tech Alliance because of its position in and importance to the Austin tech community. ATA not only educates the tech community about issues affecting them and advocates for policy that advances the interests of the tech community, but they also use technology to solve challenges in Austin.
I plan on working in the tech industry, so the internship gives me a great perspective on the importance of civic engagement to promote the use of technology in my community. Also, I am passionate about using technology to solve problems because I believe through collaboration and innovation, I can help solve issues to make my community a more efficient, productive, and rewarding place to work and live.
What’s one thing you want to accomplish during your time interning at ATA?
Coming into this internship, I was hoping to discover what aspect of the tech industry I was interested in. ATA has provided me many opportunities to interact with organizations in various ways. I discovered I really enjoyed working with a group to make various City of Austin Department processes more efficient (Paper Census).
Each step of the User Centered Design Process (the process we used to evaluate and brainstorm solutions for the departments), which includes research, analysis, and prototyping, was interesting, informative, and fun. Through this, I found that I am passionate about helping organizations become more efficient and effective so they can in turn more efficiently and effectively serve their constituencies.
Why is civic engagement important to you?
I am very passionate about providing more education opportunities. I believe that providing an accessible and quality education to more people will contribute to more equity across the nation. Technology is uniquely placed to help make education accessible worldwide, as globalization and technology are allowing people to connect much more easily.
Civic engagement significantly enhances making education accessible. Civic engagement is about empowering people to stand up for their rights and interests. By being civically engaged and encouraging others to do so, you can affect more change than you thought possible by holding politicians accountable for their actions and voting for people who share your interests and passions. Education is just one example of why I choose to be civically engaged. Shouldn’t we all engage to support our passions?