It’s internship season and we’ve enlisted interns in Spartanburg, SC and Rutherfordton, NC to share their experience with the ELGL audience. After introduction articles from each of the interns, we’ll ask you to tell them you want to know about the internship experience.
First up… Natalia Rosario, City of Spartanburg, SC intern.
Summer School with Blogtern Natalia Rosario
My name is Natalia Rosario, and I’m an intern in the Community Development office in the City of Spartanburg, South Carolina (s/o to the sparkling, hub city) and at Main Street Woodruff in Woodruff, SC (Go Wolverines)! I was asked to participate in this blogging series by one of my très cool boss ladies in Spartanburg, Carmen Mays. I thought it was a neat idea and I love to talk, so here I am, your new, fun, and intellectually stimulating blogtern! As far as the basics that constitute my life and personality, as they exist today, they are as follows.
I am originally from Miami Beach, Florida and was transplanted to Upstate SC when my mom moved our little family here (herself, my older brother Carlos Adrian, and I) in search of better employment opportunities (isn’t it the new southern migrant narrative interesting?). I attended and graduated from Woodruff High School in 2010 and the University of South Carolina Upstate in 2014, with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. I am currently attending Clemson University’s Master in City and Regional Planning Program, which I will complete (I hope so, anyway) in 2016. My research interests thus far include environmental sustainability, community development and neighborhood planning in disenfranchised, minority, & low-income communities, and the impacts of the built environment on health, social capital, and civic empowerment.
My interest in local government stems from my time at USC Upstate, where my professor and mentor, Dr. Abe Goldberg, highlighted the importance and impact of local government units on the everyday lives of citizens – and how very little attention those same citizens pay to it! Since local governments are the closest to the people, I think they stand the best chance at executing real (and really good) democracy. As such, they are the best places from which to operate within in order to have a significantly positive impact on the lives and welfare of people and communities.
What I am interested in knowing, from you, about local government is:
- How do cities engage different populations (women, minorities, youth) and work to include them in the decision making and planning processes? How can we make plans more effective?
- What does the future of local government look like as millenials come of age and enter the job market – do our approaches to management and implementation even differ substantially from that simultaneously much-maligned and heralded baby boomer age block?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of local government mechanisms? Where are we succeeding? Where are we failing? (Mostly I think we can and need to create and implement strategies to prevent us as practitioners from becoming ‘cogs in the machine’ and burning out)
- Anything and everything else I get asked to talk about!
Other careers I am considering besides entering local government? I may try to complete a PhD before the age of 30, or I may dip my toes in the consultant pool for a little while – but my main interest lies in community outreach, so any field related to that might be a possibility! Also, I want to be a geologist/pyro technician.
It’s only appropriate that I end my inaugural entry by responding to Lightning Round questions.
What I Am Watching:
Since I’m working on a lit review for my thesis this summer, TV has kind of been cut out of my life, but the last time I was viewing the tube I was almost finished with Season 2 of House of Cards, watching the latest season of Scandal, Alpha House, and Once Upon a Time.
What I Am Reading:
My goal this summer to is to read 30 books and 60 articles on the topics of community development, neighborhood organizing, housing, and socioeconomic theory. Right now I’m working on Robert Fisher’s Let the People Decide!
What I Am Thinking About the Apple Watch:
I know what it is, but I don’t really know what it is…is it like a 600 dollar fitbit? What happens if you sweat on it? How durable is the screen? Can you work it if you have fat fingers? Will it eventually turn into a futuristic wrist communicator à la Leela Turanga’s armband? Granted, I’ve done zero research on any of these questions.
What I Am Afraid of:
Wow, 0-100 just like that, this just got real. Genuine fears? Getting my left hand bitten off by an alligator (I’m a lefty), getting lost in the woods and ending up on “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”, the myriad of diseases humans are susceptible to, aneurysms, running over a critter, getting attacked by a chimpanzee, getting drowned in the ocean, shellfish.
What I Wish I Was Doing (Instead of Completing This Questionnaire):
Lifting weights * flexed arm emoji *, eating, finishing that book, but really I like questionnaires so this is fun too!
What I Am Listening To:
Uh – the sound of this printer going non-stop printing neighborhood initiative eligibility forms? Also lately I’ve been listening to the Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll + Hyde album, The Josh Groban Collection, and Kanye West’s early albums. I love Spotify.
What I Wish People Knew About Me:
Prolonged eye contact makes me uncomfortable, and I have an aversion to touching foods, liquids, and people, I like flowers and I want people to bring me flowers, because I don’t want to spend money on them, I can eat with chopsticks, I dream of playing in the SAGL (Southern Amateur Grid League) which is a cross between ultra weight lifting, body weight, and speed races, and I like to eat raw turnips, whole.
What I Am Wishing Would Go Away:
Structural, institutionalized, and all other forms of racism, internalized misogyny, misogyny in media, misogyny in general, the lack of minority representation in media, the continued mistreatment of indigenous peoples worldwide, the fact that women’s jeans barely have pockets, fire ants and all other invasive species, healthcare coverage issues nationwide, impermeable surfaces, the destruction of natural habitats and the loss of species worldwide, and personally, my: rosacea, asthma, inherent shyness, and love for bread, ice cream, and caffeine.
What I Wished You Asked Me:
- Zodiac sign? (I’m a leo)
- What do you think of the new emojis? (I love ‘em, representation ftw)
- Favorite books? (Lord of the Rings, Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, the Chronicles of Narnia)
- Favorite movies? (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic Park, Legally Blonde, Kung Fu Panda)
- Any recurring nightmares/dreams? (I have one where a big dragon spewing smoke eats me, wonder what that means)
Alright, now it’s your turn, what do you want to know from me? How can I help you create an internship program that is fulfilling for both intern and employer?