Mayor Peter Buttigieg - South Bend, IN

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. 

The Office of Mayor Peter Buttigeig is seeking a Director's Intern to assist the Mayor and staff with administrative, staffing, and special projects as needed. Duties include: responding to constituent concerns via telephone, email and traditional correspondence in timely, efficient manner and redirecting to other city departments or outside agencies when necessary; creating and maintaining records relating to the assistance provided; creating informational briefings for the Mayor and staff for internal meetings and public events; assisting the Director of Communications with media research; organizing and coordinating city outreach efforts and other public events; and conducting in-depth policy research on areas as assigned. Interns will also have opportunities to staff the Mayor and his executive staff at public events and meetings as they arise.

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience with Microsoft Word, and Excel
  • Ability to work with a degree of autonomy
  • Enjoyment of working and interacting with a variety of people
  • Must be flexible, courteous, and interested in public service as well as a wide variety of public functions

Other Qualifications:

  • Excellent communication, writing, and analytical skills
  • Quick learner
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Foreign language skills (especially Spanish) a plus
  • Graphic design and digital media experience



2018 Intern Reflection:

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s office is a small one, with just a handful of full-time staffers steering a city government responsible for over 100,000 residents. Perched on the 14th floor of the County-City Government Building, the office has a commanding viewpoint over what I’ve found to be a small but mighty Midwestern city. Every day has brought something different; I’ve been handed more responsibility than I expected, and I love going to work each morning.

Because of the office’s size, staffers delegate important tasks to their interns. A lot of the tasks I’ve done here included writing press releases, briefings, or scheduling events, but I’ve also found myself doing research on an array of topics each day, from local economic development to pre-kindergarten education to immigrant resettlement. I even got the chance to help update the city’s natural disaster communications plan. I’ve learned to perform limited coding operations, accompanied the Mayor to area news interviews and community events, and gotten the opportunity to leave the office for at least one event every day.

The people here care about and trust their interns. When my boss (a Harvard alum who graduated in 2017 and interned in the Mayor’s Office himself in 2016) learned I would have an Army ROTC training event at Fort Knox for a full month in the middle of the summer, he and the rest of the office were wholeheartedly supportive, allowing me to conduct the first and second half of my internship before and after my orders. This kind of support has meant a lot, and if other students come to South Bend, they’ll find themselves both challenged and supported by a cadre of smart, genuine, and devoted civil servants.

Henry Atkins

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

South Bend, IN