Albany Summer Internships Enable Students to Explore Careers

By Emily Hollenbach ’18

political science internship politics     political science internship politics
Megan Nickel '19 (4th fr. right) interned at Environmental Advocates of NY.          Noelle Snyder '19 (center) worked at Mental Health Association of NY.

The Albany Summer Internship Experience offers students the chance to explore professional options related to a wide variety of majors in a convenient 6-week time frame. Drawing upon the many political, nonprofit, and cultural organizations in New York’s capital city, the program offers internships in such fields as political communications, professional writing, and public service.

The 9 students who participated in the program in Summer 2017 were placed in internships that introduced them to career possibilities related to their majors and minors (see below for a full list of placements). Krista Ricke ’18, an Environmental Studies and Policy major with a Political Science minor, combined both interests in her work with Parks and Trails of New York, an organization that works with local politicians, cycling groups, and other stakeholders to improve trail access in the state. Similarly, History major Samuel Fontanez ’18 drew upon both his History major and Political Science minor in his work with the office of New York State Senator Terrence Murphy.

political science internship politicsParticipants work 4 days a week in an office setting, complete a seminar course, interact with guest speakers from a variety of fields, and visit key area sites such as Albany Law School (students during the visit are pictured at left). According to Program Director Dr. Krista Applebee, who oversees student placements, the goal of these activities is to provide students with “substantive experience they can draw on as they interview for professional jobs or go on to graduate school.”

Students' work as interns typically involves a wide variety of duties. In Senator Murphy’s legislative office, Mr. Fontanez prepared for debates, attended sessions with the senator, and maintained a bill tracker spread sheet to track the bills’ progress. He noted that the connections he made, specifically with the Senator’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff, will benefit him in the future: “This experience reaffirmed my ambitions to pursue a political position (as a senator or assemblyman) to break down barriers between the political parties and make government work more smoothly.”

Matthew Rzodkiewicz ’19 had a similarly productive experience during his time working in New York State Senator Chris Jacobs’s communications office. A double major in Public Relations and Sports Communication with a minor in Political Science, Mr. Rzodkiewicz managed social media, wrote and edited press releases, briefed the Senator on policy, and held discussions and meetings with policy advocates. This hard work brought tangible benefits: “I made a lot of connections in both the public and private sector just by attending sessions and networking. I worked hard enough throughout the internship that my superiors offered to help in terms of references, future jobs, and so on.”

Offering a bit of advice to future participants in the program, Mr. Rzodkiewicz emphasized that working tirelessly and being active is key: “Get ready to put in the work for it, or else you won’t get anything out of it. Putting yourself out there and simply asking how you can help goes a very long way.”

 Summer 2017 Albany Internship Experience Placement Sites