The Insider: Intern gets lesson in local politics

May 2, 2014 8:45 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Amy Rodenberger, a sophomore from Lancaster, Penn., works as an intern in the office of New Orleans City Council member LaToya Cantrell. Today she shares with The Insider what it is like to work at New Orleans City Hall.

Amy Rodenberger

Amy Rodenberger, a sophomore who is double majoring in political science and Spanish and Portuguese, with a minor in Latin American Studies, works as an intern at New Orleans City Hall. (Photo by Myriam Huet)

What are your duties?
Every day is different. Some days I answer phone calls, send emails, organize files and do other “classic intern” activities. Other days I may be called to attend council meetings, budget hearings and committee meetings.

Are some days more interesting than others?
Of course! I’ve attended protests, city events and emergency city government meetings. I helped organized events like Wednesday at the Square and the District B Dog Bowl. I also was able to create an after-school program for kids in the city to teach them about cleaning up the neighborhood and see first-hand its success.

Is your internship through the Tulane Center for Public Service?
Yes. This is a public service internship for which I am earning three credit hours and fulfilling my second tier public service graduation requirement.

What will you do now that your internship is concluding?
I’m excited to have received an invitation to intern here next spring after I return from my summer and fall study abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

What was the greatest lesson youve taken from this internship?
I have learned a lot about professionalism and the importance of staying positive through everything — the good, the bad and the even the boring.

Will what you’ve learned help in your career goals?
While I don’t plan to keep working in local politics, I believe that the office and people skills I have learned will be applicable to any job I want in the future. If I do end up staying in politics though, the one thing I know now is there would be nowhere more exciting to work than in New Orleans.
For information about the Public Service Internship Program contact Myriam Huet.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000