In January 2012, at age 29, Peter Buttigieg became the youngest mayor to serve a U.S. city of more than 100,000 people, and he quickly established South Bend as a model for municipal innovation and smart government. He is a 2004 graduate of the College and a 2015 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frotier Award.
2017 Intern Reflection:
This summer, I have the opportunity to intern in the Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s office in South Bend, Indiana. During a typical day, we help the staff with a number of different things. Along with assisting with basic office duties, we get to engage in projects given to us by staff members. This includes drafting remarks, releases, letters, and other things that are sent from the Mayor’s office, as well as doing research and creating memos. In my first couple of weeks, I was able to do research and draft an op-ed about the newly completed Smart Streets project, which was a revamping of the streetscape in downtown. Recently, I have been assisting with the South Bend Youth Task Force, which is a group of high school students who work to change the community. Additionally, we get to accompany the Mayor to events.
Also, I’ve had opportunity to work a bit with the South Bend legal department. Thus far I have spent most of my time in the Mayor’s office but I have engaged in a few projects from legal.
These include creating graphs, organizing files, and assisting them with a project about the renewing of quiet zones for train whistles in the city.
I would highly recommend that other students apply to this internship for a few reasons. First of all, there are about ten other interns and you develop great friendships with them. Our group of interns recently went to Cedar Point amusement park as a group and play pickup basketball on Wednesday nights. The office culture overall is very fun and energetic. Second, there is a real opportunity to use and develop writing skills that you learn at Harvard. Third, you are able to participate in community events and get involved with what is going on in the city. Fourth, being around a great leader like Mayor Pete is really an invaluable experience and getting to know him has been one of the most interesting parts of this internship. I am excited to see how the rest of the summer goes and look forward to learning more in this internship.
Madeline Raster '19
2016 Intern Reflection:
My summer internship in Mayor Pete’s office has been a great experience. Over just the past month I have staffed the Mayor at public events, conducted significant policy research, sat in on conference calls with the White House, and much more. In addition to these tasks, I have also had several opportunities to talk to Mayor Pete in one-on-one settings; during these talks he has always been forthright and offered helpful advice as well as meaningful insight. Having the chance to work with such a bright and talented visionary is truly an incredible opportunity.
The environment in Mayor Pete’s office is professional, but not intimidating or overbearing. There are several interns in the office over the summer, all under the supervision of the Mayor’s executive assistant, who tasks assigns each intern projects that closely align with their interests. Currently, I am conducting research into bike-sharing programs, like Boston’s Hubway. I have prepared memos based on this research for the rest of the working group, comprised of members of several different departments. On a typical day, I am either researching or writing for my main project, although as other tasks come up, I have to adjust and address them. The other tasks are diverse in nature, ranging from responding to constituents, to taking the Mayor to and from events, and more. This internship is one that requires the ability to research topics and quickly absorb new information as well as communicate that well, mainly through writing. The first half of the summer has been rewarding and I am looking forward to what comes next.
John Bourjaily '17