A Matter of Perspective

September 1, 2015
By William Reid

William Reid

William Reid, Intern

As I wrap up my summer internship at the Kansas City Fed, it is valuable to reflect on how my perspective of the Bank has been shaped and to share it with District stakeholders. I am one of 33 interns, 11 of whom rotated through three departments during the 10-week program. The rotational nature of my internship, during which I worked in Community Development, Business Solutions Delivery and Human Resources, exposed me to numerous Bank functions. The biggest effect on me has come through observing the dependent, side-by-side relationship of the Bank's external and internal functions. 

Sitting with Erika Ramirez, assistant vice president of Community Development, we talked about the Community Development department and the importance of the Bank's relationship with communities throughout the Tenth District. This, and subsequent exchanges with the team, helped me understand how the Bank engages externally-specifically through its community development function. The breadth of that involvement spans from researching trends in the low- and moderate-income (LMI) population (individuals who have incomes below 80 percent of the area median income) to small business development and sustainability. 

During my Community Development rotation I became acquainted with this external focus through a project involving the biannual Tenth District LMI Survey. The survey uses responses from District organizations which serve LMI populations to construct seven indicators of economic and organizational conditions. Five of these indicators measure current economic conditions of LMI communities; the other two indicate the condition of the organizations that serve them. 

My goals were to increase participation in the LMI Survey, validate the existing methodology for selecting survey participants, and, primarily, to compare the existing survey pool's responses to those from a random sample. These project goals in turn supported the central goal of the LMI Survey-to provide service providers, policymakers and others a measure of changes over time in the economic conditions of the LMI population. 

Through my rotations in Business Solutions Delivery (BSD) and Human Resources (HR) I gained familiarity with the Bank's internal functions. 

BSD provides consultative technical support to Supervision and Regulation (S & R) functions throughout the Federal Reserve System. My work monitoring the department's performance—both from a budgetary and job execution perspective—taught me the need for strong internal services to support an organization’s external services. 

The projects and discussions in which I was involved during my HR rotation displayed the diversity of responsibilities—specifically relating to an internal/external mix—a department can have. 

My summer at the Kansas City Fed, due in part to rotating through departments, offered me a holistic picture of what internal processes are necessary to support the Bank’s external “products”—a picture from which I gained invaluable skills and a more encompassing perspective of how organizations operate.