Amanda Stewart, MPA '18
This summer I was the Graduate Intern in the Commissioner’s Office of the Department of Sanitation (DSNY). My role was supporting many of the projects that are managed and developed by the Commissioner’s Office team. My favorite part was the opportunity to tap into different areas of Sanitation. For instance, I was working on the Implementation Plan for Commercial Waste Zones, which is a heavily politicized and controversial issue in the city, while also researching how to increase recycling rates or supporting a competition to redesign the NYC litter baskets.
I am interested in advancing sustainability in city operations, so DSNY was the perfect place for me to learn more and apply my experience. Having been so close to the Commissioner’s team also gave me another perspective on all that the leadership deals with and how they manage the reality of budgets, politics, unions, and more. It was great to have the chance to visit Sanitation workers, garages, compost sites, and community stakeholders, making the work that much more tangible. I am confident this internship had an impact on my outlook on sustainability and city government operations.
I applied for an internship at the Commissioner’s Office with a completely different job description that did not interest me as much, but when I was called for the interview I thought it couldn’t hurt to go. I then found out that the role had changed, and it was the perfect fit for me. I believe that talking about relevant classes I had taken, such as Environmental Policy and Strategic Communications, and explaining how they would serve my work was a major determining factor in securing the position. My advice to others is to not let any opportunity pass you by because it does not sound right; go and meet the team because you never know what might come from that interaction.
Ryan Young, MPA '19
Being a Strategic Partnerships Co-op Intern at Con Edison has mirrored so many of the concepts I’ve learned matriculating through the Marxe School MPA program. I found the opening on CareerConnect and there were two rounds of interviews. Before the second interview, I prepped with Marxe's Graduate Career Services to brush up on my question and answer expectations.
I’m honored to have broad access to Con Edison’s community grants program as well the employee volunteer initiative, which are integral components of the Con Edison corporate affairs strategy. At the moment, I am working with program managers to develop new evaluation and reporting methods for community partner grantees.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a trendier term for what I am doing now but, I expect it to become more and more of the norm as consumers raise the ethical expectations for large companies. Ultimately, community development is a realm I see myself gravitating toward after graduation and I am one that thinks CSR will play a large role in that process.
My advice to students seeking an internship is to perform deep dives into your focus area. By doing this before you even write a cover letter, you can frame your expertise or desire to work in the company around the challenges they currently face or those on the horizon.
Monique Gaynor, MPA '17
I am a People Operations Intern at JetBlue. My role is working for the JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund (JCCF). It is it's own 501(c)3 organization that functions as an emergency fund for JetBlue crewmembers experiencing a crisis situation such as a natural disaster, death of a spouse, or house fire. I found out about JetBlue's internship program through the Marxe school career website. Once I applied, I interviewed with my current supervisors and was extended an offer shortly after.
My two main projects are working with the Executive Director to automate our application and donor management systems as well as managing JCCF's communications committee. Aiding with the transition to MicroEdge and Raiser's Edge has definitely helped to increase my knowledge of the backend of CRM systems. It is the first time I have been involved in the coding aspects of database management systems. Managing the JCCF communications committee involves a lot of collaboration between our organization's board members, JetBlue's Corporate Communications department, and external vendors in order to move JCCF's promotional goals forward. These responsibilities fit into my overall career goals because upon graduation from the MPA program, I knew that I wanted to work in the field of corporate philanthropy.
A piece of advice that I would give students who are looking for internships is to have a clear idea of what your career objectives are and how the internships you are applying for will help you meet them. Also, try your best to sell yourself and leverage any past experience you have that are related to the job responsibilities.
Viktoriya Chubirka, MPA '18
After my first semester at Baruch as an MPA student, I was looking forward to taking advantage of the internship opportunities during the summer. I was fortunate to join one of the largest philanthropic organization there is – Open Society Foundations. As a Eurasia Program intern, I was assigned three categories of work: Minority Empowerment, Human Rights and Media. The global goal of the organization is to help countries transition from their communist past. Being from Ukraine, a young post-Soviet democracy that is dealing with all the ills of developing countries, including corruption, bureaucracy, economic turmoil and external aggression from its neighbor, the mission of the Open Society Foundations’ Eurasia Program resonated with me personally.
The internship at OSF gave me the opportunity to attend all meetings that are relevant to my categories of work, review grant applications and familiarize myself with the grant-making process. Overall, I was privileged to be fully engaged in everything that was going on in the program.
I have completed seven major assignments, including translation of calls for proposals, review of grantee reports, a research project on the UN Human Rights tools and a survey regarding the funding for women's rights organizations in Eurasia.
The best advice I can give to students looking for internships is to follow your true professional passion and have an idea of what kind of knowledge and experience you are looking to gain before you start applying for internships. Ask questions, be curious and don’t be afraid to make a mistake – being an intern is a fantastic hands-on learning platform. I wish you all luck and great professional and educational experiences.
Josephina Ragon, MSEd '18
Beginning my professional career as an educator in the South Bronx and Chicago's turnaround schools, I developed a strong passion for closing the achievement gap. When I decided to transition and work with post-secondary students, Baruch College and CUNY’s mission to provide quality, accessible education greatly influenced my decision. It is rewarding to attend an institution whose values align with my own.
Immediately after getting accepted into the HEA Program, I proactively sought opportunities to work with students. Through Career Services, I learned about the graduate assistant positions in the Office of Student Life and Office of New Student Programs and Leadership Development at Baruch. I pursued and landed both of them. These assistantships allowed me integrate what I was learning in the classroom, such as student development, finances in higher education, quantitative and qualitative research, and administrative services. They also gave me direct experience working with students, including advising clubs and organizations on campus-wide event planning, such as Spring Fling and Women's Heritage Month, leading workshops, such as officer training, creating leadership development material, and coordinating off-campus service learning and spring break trips to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, PA. Although my assistantships have ended, I am eager to continue this work in student life and leadership development, as well as in opportunity programs.
If I can give one piece of advice to those searching for internships, I would say not to wait for an opportunity to come knocking at your door. Do your research, reach out to administrators early on, ask questions, and go get it!
Deborah D'Orazi, MPA '18
As an MPA student focusing on policy analysis, social justice/human rights, and trauma, I am interested in learning how organizations and agencies can best focus on serving populations, involving populations within the policy process, and how to implement policies that create positive results. During the spring 2017 semester, I interned with the Vera Institute of Justice’s Policing Program as a Graduate Research Intern. Vera was founded in the 1960s and policing reform is something that continues to be a central aspect of its work. One of my projects is researching and writing a paper on Vera’s policing work. This included the first project involving policing, the Manhattan Summons Project during the 1960s. The pilot program was so successful that it was eventually adopted and expanded to all police precincts in New York City. It also revolutionized how summonses were used and how police in New York City interacted with communities. I am also learning a lot about police performance assessment and community policing since I research and catalog current news stories and events involving these topics. The internship as a whole has increased my interest in police and community policing.
My advice to any student seeking an internship is to research and be consistent. I started the MPA program in spring 2017 and was determined to gain experience with organizations I believed I could help and could help me learn about myself. So, I sent out applications to as many relevant organizations as I could and utilized Marxe Career Services when I secured interviews. Now that I am looking for an internship for the summer I find myself utilizing the MPA job board and Center more for help and suggestions. It is always good to remember that you never know what is out there unless you look and ask for help!
Christopher Sanchez, MPA '17
Given my work experience in the State mental health system and passion for healthcare, the healthcare policy track was a natural fit for me and one of the factors that motivated me to pursue my MPA at Baruch. Throughout the summer, I interned with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) in the office of Equity Diversity & Inclusion (OEDI). I had the opportunity to perform outreach and training events with some of the Departments 10,000 civilian and uniformed employees. Additionally, I was a part of developing a digital platform that the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion will now use to catalog and track EEO complaints.
In searching for internships, I have utilized Marxe CareerConnect; the database continually posts a wide range of opportunities that have sparked my interest. One of the greatest tools that I have utilized from the Career Services Office has been the resume review service. I feel as though tailoring my resume to the positions I’ve applied for has made a huge difference in my application process and in securing my current role. I would suggest applying to opportunities that are different from what you’ve done in the past. Previously I had primarily focused on careers and internships in the healthcare profession; however, I have found that working in a policy role at the administrative level can take many new and exciting forms. If asked a year ago how I felt about possibly working for the Department Of Sanitation, I would have never thought it was for me. This new knowledge has opened my mind to the possibility of one day shaping city agency policy and ingrained a passion for the way New York City manages some of the city’s most vital resources.
Solomon Boukai, MPA '18
I'm now working for the agency that most fits my career interests increasing the possibility of landing a Policy Analyst position within this area. I'm interning at MTA New York City Transit . The focus of my MPA is policy analysis and evaluation with special emphasis on transit policy and planning. I'm currently interning as a timekeeper processing payroll time sheets for Maintenance Parts Suppliers for Bus and Subway Depots. I found out about the Internship Program at MTA NYCT by meeting with Career Services Advisors. In fact, the only way to sign up for the MTA Internship Program is through Career Services. Beyond the Internship Program, the Advisors at Career Services helped me enhance my resume, prepare me for interviews, and advised me on job search strategies. Once you decide on your career path, remain persistent and confident. In the meantime, as you focus on getting an internship in your desired agency, look for related opportunities. While government agencies have varying areas of focus, what you learn from working there will most likely be transferable once you land an internship or job in your desired agency.
Nabila Ibrahim, MPA '17
As an MPA student at the Austin W. Marxe School of Public & International Affairs, my primary focus is to learn more about public management allowing me to positively effect a larger part of our population. During summer 2016, I interned at the NYC Office of Management and Budget in the Administrative Agencies and Elected Officials Unit, which handles the capital and expense budget of thirty NYC agencies including Mayoralty, DCAS, and DoITT. As an intern, I updated data within the Adopted Plan from the Executive Financial Plan and reconciled the budget of all thirty agencies. I also contributed to the creation of an Access Brief Sheet enabling the task force to easily keep track of all initiatives. This internship helped me to learn about the operations of various New York City governmental organizations and how to obtain the best results with limited resources. I was able to use my quantitative and analytical skills to conduct many budgetary operations. Overall, I grew my professional network as well as attained personal growth.
I have always worked with Career Service to prepare targeted application materials for specific jobs or internships. I also utilize mock interviews, which helps boost my confidence level for interviews. Lastly, I have built an excellent relationship with my Career Advisor, who helped me figure out my career goals. I recommend that students use career service at least once a month to create and implement an action plan fostering their career development. It is also beneficial to attend various Marxe career events providing a platform to learn more about the job market and network.
Alina Aleshko, MPA '17
The focus of my MPA is Healthcare Policy, I hope to become a healthcare administrator within a hospital network and work towards a Director role. I am currently interning at Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) in the Research Department. I am contributing to a stroke study where I will eventually interview participants. I am currently supporting all areas of our research and attending related meetings with stakeholders. My internship is allowing me to learn an integral database commonly used in hospital settings and strengthening my ability to multitask, preparing me for a healthcare administrator role.
Career Services helped me find an internship right away. I met with Ms. Bartholomew and she was amazingly helpful. She identified the internship, reviewed my resume and cover letter, and forwarded it to the employer. I was initially struggling to find an internship and thanks to Career Services, I was able to secure one within a short timeframe. The best advice I can give students currently seeking an internship is to go to Career Services for assistance because they truly guide you in the right direction based on your goals. You also have to keep your mind open to unpaid internships as they can be great resume builders and provide flexible schedules.
Shaquana Lee, MPA '18
I am currently interning at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and Changing Our World, Inc. At VNSNY I am responsible for entering appeals into Raiser's Edge and managing the distribution of gift notifications by mail. At Changing Our World, I focus on prospective donor research. Both internships are launching my career in development because I am getting well rounded exposure. For instance, at VNSNY I am learning the importance of a strong development department. It is very important to manage the influx of donations and maintain a relationship with all donors in house. Furthermore, Changing Our World, Inc. is teaching me how to solicit donors based on their philanthropic behavior.
Career Services has been outstanding in my search for internships. I met with my Career Advisor, Kerry Bartholomew, almost every week and she always provided feedback regarding my search. I did not understand how to talk about myself in a way that was substantial to prospective employers. Kerry taught me that every task requires a transferable skill and that I knew more about Nonprofits than I thought. That is what led me to a paid opportunity with Changing Our World, Inc. It is important to remember that you have something to offer and the right opportunity will present itself.
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