Office of Mayor Marty Walsh, City of Boston
The City of Boston municipal government is comprised of more than 70 individual agencies, commissions and departments, with more than 16,000 employees and a total budget of $2.98 billion for Fiscal Year 2017. Organized in a traditional cabinet structure, the City’s major functional areas include managing public schools, ensuring public safety, stimulating economic, housing and neighborhood development, coordinating human services programs for constituents of all ages, providing necessary infrastructure and basic City services to residents and supporting the operations of all line departments.
These departments provide services to more than 617,000 residents, including 56,000 public school students, as well as hundreds of thousands of people working in the city every day, and tens of millions of visitors and tourists annually.
The Mayor’s Office oversees the key functions of policy development and management planning. This small staff designs policy and implementation strategies for the Mayor and coordinates the work of the various City departments.
In this internship, students will work with the city department that best fits their area of interest, and can tailor their experience to projects they are most passionate about. Depending on the department, the intern will work closely with the cabinet chief, department head, or department team on both long and short-term initiatives that align with his or her particular interest in city government.
Those best suited for this role will work well independently and on teams, and have some project management experience, as well as a strong interest in the public sector.
2017 Intern Reflection:
My internship in the Mayor's Office has been both challenging and rewarding. I've spent the majority of my time in the City of Boston's Office of Food Access, working on a wide range of projects. Specifically, I've been working with Boston Public Schools and other city departments to expand the Summer Food Service Program. The SFSP provides free meals to children aged 18 and under to help bridge the gap between school years and maintain healthy eating habits and food security even when school is out for the summer. Over the first half of my internship, I helped to imagine and launch a brand new summer meal site right here at City Hall, serving kids lunch during the day and working with partners to reach as many children as possible for the summer. I've also helped to perform outreach in the community to raise awareness about the program and ensure that the City reaches and feeds the most amount of children possible.
The best part about this internship is the independence and self-directed component of the job. From my first day at City Hall, I was given a number of open ended, complex projects that required creative thinking, self-direction, diligence, and follow through. For example, I've been working a lot on problem solving participation at the City Hall site; because there are no schools or families living near Government Center, I've been brainstorming ways to get more children involved. Throughout the course of the summer, I've been pushed to deliver results on a number of interesting and important projects. This independence has been the most rewarding part of the internship, and future interns should expect to have a meaningful summer of creative and impactful work at the local level. City Hall is filled with motivated, hard-working, and creative employees that have made my internship fun and rewarding, and I have loved the opportunity to get involved in politics at a local level.
Will Parsons '19
2016 Intern Reflection:
The first half of my internship in Mayor Martin Walsh's Office has been an invigorating experience. For the past five weeks, I've worked directly with the Mayor's Chief of Streets in the Boston Transportation Department. I have worked mostly on imagining the City's role in facilitating the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles--vehicles that drive themselves--in Boston. This experience has included conducting legislative research on existing state/city legislation, drafting up policy recommendations, presenting recommendations to public officials, taking part in a global forum on autonomous vehicles, and even participating in a test drive of the vehicle itself! I have also spent time on analyzing the City's 311 requests, which are for citizens to contact City Hall regarding requested traffic repairs throughout the city.
The general day-to-day experience has been an interesting part of my internship, as it has informed me more specifically on careers in city-level politics. One of the most rewarding parts of my internship experience in the Mayor's Office thus far has been being able to participate in conversations with so many people committed to improving different aspects of Boston. The experience of working in Mayor Walsh's office has ignited an already existing personal interest in pursuing a career in city politics. Being a part of a vibrant environment committed to creating change in the City is exactly how I imagined it would be.
Ted White '17
2015 Intern Reflection:
Mayor Walsh’s Office is a great setting for students to gain insight into the workings of city government. Currently, I am collaborating with the Mayor’s Policy Team to review and categorize hundreds of city-wide, as well as neighborhood-specific, initiatives. We hope to craft and release a quarterly report for the city’s residents soon. While this is an ambitious objective, it is certainly an achievable one as well!
I would tell prospective applicants to expect to make meaningful contributions. As the current Director’s Intern, I have participated in numerous meetings, including those led by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, and have provided input on multiple occasions. Intern(s) are given the leeway to pursue projects of their personal interests, which could involve researching and formulating alternative credit-building strategies for low-income residents or even studying data concerning the issuance of parking permits. Regardless, interns should expect to commit themselves to substantive work in an engaging, collegial environment!
I encourage all interested students to apply for the IOP Director’s Internship at Mayor Walsh’s Office. This is a great opportunity to learn from the leaders at City Hall while serving the people of Boston!
Kent Chan '17