Monday, January 23, 2012

Spring Semester in Albany

Nicole Wallace, Class of 2013, is spending her spring semester as an intern with the New York State Senate.  She is the third Verrazano student in the past four years to participate in this internship in Albany.  Nicole will be sending updates on her experience in Albany throughout the semester.

My name is Nicole Wallace. I am currently interning for the New York State Senate in Albany at the Capitol. The first ten days of the internship was orientation. The orientation was a great way to learn the basics such as bill drafting, computer training and the major offices located in the capitol. Orientation was also a great way to meet friends and colleagues. After orientation my colleagues and I were assigned our offices. I am working in Senator Tom Libous’ office 9am-6pm Monday through Friday. However, on Thursday the Senate interns meet from 1pm to 5pm for lectures.

Nicole Wallace in the New York State Senate Conference Room

I think the New York Senate Albany internship is a great mix of academics and experience because on top of working in an office full-time, students are still able to gain academic knowledge through weekly lectures. In my office, I am currently in charge of Senator Libous’ Bill website in which I update the status of current bills the Senator is proposing. I also do some clerical work such as filing and answering phones. I enjoy the job very much.

The only negative aspect of the internship is its distance from home.  Albany is more than three hours away from my home in Staten Island.  I have my own apartment in Albany on State Street, and to compensate for my long distance from home I travel back to Staten Island each week using the Greyhound Bus Line.  The bus travel is much cheaper than driving, and the ride is quiet and enjoyable.  So far I've only been interning for a month.  However, I do have recommendations for those who are thinking about doing the Albany internship in the future.  First, if you're looking for an apartment, try and find something very close to the Capitol.  The weather in Albany is not exactly warm and even the short walk to work leaves me freezing.  There are two entrances to the building - one on State Street and one on Washington Ave.  So I suggest finding an apartment on either of those streets.

Spring 2012 New York State Senate Interns

Another recommendation is that if you are thinking about the internship, start saving money now.  It is a paid internship; however, you will not receive the first CUNY check until the last week in January and the first bi-weekly stipend check the first week in February. You will need to have saved at least first month’s rent and security and perhaps the second month’s rent as well. Even though I am not receiving the stipend checks as quickly as I planned and the distance from home is far, I do not regret participating in the internship. I’ve made some great friends so far and I’m gaining tons of experience and knowledge about New York State Senate and legislation.

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