Name: Mitchel Ladner
Place: New York City Parks & Recreation – Manhattan Borough
Duration of Internship: May 2012 – July 2012
Describe Your Experience:
It was incredible. The people there gave me actual work to do, so I didn’t feel like they made anything up just to keep me busy. During the interview, they asked me what kinds of things I was interested in, and they really followed through in putting me somewhere where I was able to do that kind of work. They were also adamant in giving me free time to walk around and explore one of the greatest cities on earth.
What is the most valuable thing that you learned?
I’m a senior now, and I remember taking classes early in college that required electives that had nothing to do with my major. I remember thinking “Why am I in this class?” This summer was the first actual job I’ve ever had, and I really used some of those things that I thought I’d never use. I guess the most valuable thing I learned is not to take things you learn for granted. My boss and most of my co-workers were impressed that I knew how to do something or knew some piece of information that we needed and that I picked up in one of those classes.
Would you recommend this organization/company to other students?
Most definitely. Over the summer, I had to set up seminars and meetings between my boss and some foreign city’s parks & recreation departments because they traveled the world to come study how NYC operates. Seoul, Korea is in the process of translating the codes and procedures for Central Park, essentially word-for-word to govern their new state-of-the-art park, so being part of an organization of that much national and international recognition is pretty fulfilling. It’s so large that there is a division inside NYC Parks & Rec for everyone, too.
How did you find out about your internship?
I found it on NYC.gov.
Do you have any advice for other students who are interested in internships?
I applied on a whim during finals week spring semester. While I don’t recommend waiting that late, I do recommend taking a shot at something out of your comfort zone. I lived in New York City this summer; that’s pretty cool.