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 18,000 employees and a total budget of $3.29 billion for Fiscal Year 2019. 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 685,000 residents, 56,000 public school students, hundreds of thousands of people working in the city every day, and tens of millions of visitors and tourists annually.
In this internship, the student has the opportunity to work with the City department that best fits their area of interest, and can tailor their experience to projects they are most passionate about. The student will be responsible for managing and executing projects across diverse subject matters, designing policy initiatives that improve the lives of Boston residents; and engaging with Boston's many neighborhoods and communities to ensure that the City's policy initiatives align with residents' values and needs. 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.
2019 Intern Reflection:
Five weeks in, I am thoroughly enjoying my internship with the City of Boston. Though the first weeks, as in most internships, started relatively slowly, I have gained more and more responsibility. I was matched with the city's Office of Housing Stability, where we work with renters to prevent evictions and place people in affordable housing. Besides interacting with constituents who walk and call into our office, I have also been coordinating our office's advocacy for the Mayor's agenda at the State Legislature. This week, that meant that I was put in charge of reaching out to people who have been helped by our office and helping them testify at a hearing for one of our bills.
In addition to the work itself, one of my favorite parts of this internship is the opportunity it has given me to meet and learn from political veterans in the city government and Walsh administration. The people in my office have all been willing to share their knowledge, and the mayor's office, which coordinates the internship, has been directly interested in suggesting and connecting me with other interesting staff around the city. On the technological side, the city runs a modern operation based on Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar, and has a brand new beautiful set of design guidelines for city branding. It really makes doing work a lot easier than in some other levels of government.
Alex Koenig '21
2018 Intern Reflection:
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the Mayor’s Office so far. I am currently working in the Mayor’s Office of Health and Human Services, where I have been juggling several projects. Most of my work revolves around engaging youth through the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program or through programming at community centers to help reduce incidents of youth violence. Some of these initiatives include hosting a workshop on healthy relationships, hosting barbecues in neighborhoods with the highest incidences of violence, piloting a free-college course with Bunker Hill Community College, hosting food drives in community centers, and engaging supervisors in the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program in mentorship trainings.
Even though my working hours are the same, the number of projects and the time I spend on them varies. Some days, I spend the entire day working on one project while other days I have worked on several projects. One thing I enjoy about working here is the ample amount of opportunities to collaborate and help in City Hall. For example, when I grabbed coffee with someone in a different department, she then connected me to two other people in her office who had similar interests as me. I am now working with one of those connects on one of my projects. Additionally, everyone here is genuinely interested in your professional development and will meet with you to discuss any career path you are interested and help you reach those goals. Because of another coffee meeting I had, I was able to connect with different campaigns in the area to join outside of work. These aspects have made my experience working for the City of Boston incredibly rewarding.
Zainub Kahloon '20
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