Nayanika Bargava(Intern at University Albany)
I joined Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, University At Albany as a *Web Developer Intern* through APAPA. My supervisors were Dina Refki, Director of CWGCS and Bilge Avci, Research Associate. It was such a wonderful experience to work with these two for updating their department's website. They have always been so supportive and responsive and I am fortunate to work with them again on another one of their research projects Immigration Integration Index.
This internship experience helped me realize the diversity of opportunities available especially within public service. The most valuable aspect of my summer opportunity was people - I learned in depth and breadth because of how closely I was able to work in the office with 2 other people. I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship as well as the relationships and insights I have gained interacting with different directors, elected officials, and interns.
Joy Keat(Intern at Governor Cuomo's Office )
Berkeley Summary: From August 4th to August 6th I attended the 4th annual VNA International Leadership Conference in Berkeley California. The Conference was comprised of lectures by various guest speakers, workshops where we interacted with the other participants in group projects, and mentor sessions. The experience was extremely rewarding because we not only had the opportunity to connect with other APAPA chapters but also international students from China and Taiwan. I found the speed mentor sessions the most beneficial, during this session we had a few minutes to talk to a work professional of Asian descent for a few minutes before repeating the same procedure with another mentor. Each mentor had valuable insight into their respective fields and how they could be successful in their occupations as an Asian individual. The Conference was concluded with the group presentations that we had worked on throughout the duration of the conference. The groups focused on various topics such as increasing civic participation in international Asian students and improving Asian diversity in films and mass media. Overall I not only gained new skills from the Conference such as public speaking and collaboration in a group setting but I also made some friends along the way.
Internship Final Report: This past summer I worked in Governor Cuomo’s office under The Director of Women’s Affairs, Kelli Owens. Initially I expected that I would be primarily be assisting her in emails and communications but my internship experience included much more. Besides aiding her in her emails and overall communications with her fellow constituencies colleagues I also took part in traveling to events as well as conducting research on certain policy issues. I was fortunate enough to travel to New York City to attend the announcement of New York’s Council on Women and girls as well as attend talks were concerned women could voice their opinions on various issues that directly affect them such as work place inequality, pay equity, and affordable childcare. One of the main policy issues that I researched during my time was creating childcare that is affordable for lower income families. My internship experience was more than I could have asked for, it not only opened my eyes to the workings of New York’s government but also the wide array of women’s issues that still need to be addressed.
I am very thankful that the APAPA allowed me to have an opportunity to be an intern. I was able to gain so many valuable experiences from it, and without it I wouldn't be able to have met so many different people. They connected me with the Clifton Park Town Hall and introduced me to the town supervisor, Phil Barrett, and all his co-workers. They were gracious in accepting me, and for that I am very thankful. I also have to give a final thanks to Li Zhang and HP Wang for helping when I had problems and without them I wouldn't have been able to succeed as I did.
My internship with the Albany County Executive has been an experience I will not forget. My job was a combination of doing desk work and going out and experiencing events myself. Every morning when I came in, I would go to my desk and my boss, Mary, would send me my assignments. The assignments ranged from writing proclamations, media advisories, award letters, talking points and press releases. In writing these pieces I learned how to write in a more conversational manner, as opposed to the style of writing one would use while writing a paper. Sometimes in the middle of writing Mary would come in and say we needed to go somewhere, like a ribbon cutting ceremony or a press conference. Although I did enjoy writing proclamations and award letters, it was nice to get a break from that and go somewhere. During events like ribbon cuttings I would follow Mary around and get photos of the County Executive interacting with people. Sometimes the County Executive would use the talking points I wrote for speeches at the events. The most interesting thing I got to witness was Dan McCoy doing an interview at the YNN station. While he was on air, I stayed in the control room. It felt surreal to see all the cameras and watch everything happen live. Seeing press conferences live was also very interesting because of all the cameras and reporters. My least favorite part of my internship was doing media clippings. I would have to read articles written about the County Executive, determine if they were positive or negative and put everything into an excel sheet. I didn’t necessarily hate doing media clippings, but at times it would get very tedious. Overall, my internship experience was great. Instead of being on the side of the people interacting with the government, I was able to get the perspective of the government reaching out to the people. This internship helped reassure that I want my career to be in government.
My internship was very fufilling, not only in the tasks I did there, but also the skills I learned. The working enviorment at the townhall helped me understand how busy even a town's government can be. Every department I visited was always worked hard on their computers or taking calls trying to set up plans to start a project or help the residents of Clifton Park. During my internship I would have to organize files in order to let the other workers be more efficient. I also helped scan maps into the town's digital database so they wouldn't have to rely on physical copies anymore. In the same vein, I helped the highway department and planning department organize their files into spreadsheets so it was easier to access and would also compile all their documents into one master document. I am glad I was able to help my town be more efficient.
Working with APAPA has lead me to experiences I would never have dreamt of and friends I would never have met. While this community is very close knit, it is also very expansive having “family” all over the country. Everyone here helps set a constructive mood and no one lets their individual differences fracture this harmonious relationship. APAPA has been a wonderful experience for me.
Dawn Gao(Parent of Intern)
I am grateful to the APAPA-ALC for being so generous as to accept my son into their internship program. The way they were able to connect him to a local government office made it easy to access for him. In addition, he was able to contribute to our local community. I believe that the opportunity presented to him will have unimaginable benefits for his future. I hope many other kids from our community will take advantage of the opportunity that the APAPA has presented.