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Community Fellows Blog Posts

Rene Fong: Bringing Classroom Knowledge to the County Government

Rene describes how she applies her business education to the work she does at the County of Santa Clara

As I continue both my fellowship with the County of Santa Clara and my coursework as a
student in the Leavey School of Business, I find that my work inside and outside of the
classroom have a considerable amount of overlap. I can see the skills I’ve learned as a business
student being demonstrated by myself and my team at the County offices. I see how the
knowledge I’m gaining at SCU can be used to address widespread issues like public/mental
health, homelessness, and public safety, and help the County population.

In my work for Santa Clara County I see a strong sense of communication between
individuals and between teams, especially working under a chief of staff. Because there is
intersectionality between all the issues being addressed at the County-level, information needs to
be effectively shared and clear ways to connect with others. Additionally, everyone needs to be
on the same page regarding County priorities, objectives, and organizational changes, which
means that information exchange is critical to the success of County efforts. This communication
extends to spreading information to the entire County population as well. This is done through
channels such as press conferences, newsletters, and the recent State of the County address,
which are all meant to provide County residents with pertinent knowledge so that they can stay
informed and updated on what is happening in Santa Clara County.

Personally, I’ve been able to utilize analytical skills learned through the business school
through the projects I’ve been involved in which center around data collection and analysis.
Making sure that data feedback from different efforts and events is evaluated and interpreted is
the way through which the County can continue to improve programs to help residents. In my
classes I’ve been taught how to perform data analysis and data visualization, which has helped
me discover and present findings to the rest of my team to better reach out to residents through
our National Night Out event, as well as through our newsletter. I’m glad to find that by learning
and improving my own knowledge and skills, I’ve also learned how to better help others in the
wider community.

LSB Fellows,2022-2023