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On the Job with a CMSV Intern
By Chelsea Daus '12

Every day that English major and Fonthill Writing Scholarship recipient Christine Westphal ’12 reports to her internship at the Bronx Borough President’s Office, she finds a new adventure waiting. Her daily assignments are based upon what’s happening in the Bronx, so she always finds something new that requires her attention. But she’s not complaining.

“The atmosphere on a busy day is full of excitement,” she says. “You can sense when there is a buzz. On those days, I am so happy to be a part of the buzz.”

Internship   9:30 AM—Christine arrives at the Office of the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and is briefed on the day’s tasks by her supervisor, Director of Communications John DeSio.

At 9:30 AM, she walks into the Bronx County Courthouse, located just around the corner fromYankee Stadium, and heads up to the third floor. Her supervisor, John DeSio, director of communications for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., briefs her on the day’s tasks. If there’s nothing urgent to attend to, Christine begins writing press releases and articles for various publications, including a recent article for the Legislative Gazette about economic development in the Bronx over the past few years. She has also written articles about every college and university in the Bronx.

The Bronx Borough President’s Office is in charge of attending to the diverse needs of the Bronx. The Borough President works with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg on all areas that concern the Bronx, including education, social services, city planning, and economic development.

One of Christine’s favorite aspects of her internship is assisting with event planning, such as the Big Four, a seven-hour heavy metal concert held at Yankee Stadium this past September.

intern 2  11:00 AM She begins writing press releases and articles for various promotional materials about the Bronx.

The Bronx is a busy borough, and for Christine, this guarantees she will be writing press releases about upcoming events, coordinating with other offices, and assisting with upcoming projects constantly. Because the office does “more than [she] can describe,” no small task goes unfinished and every project must be completed on a tight deadline. This has taught her the importance of time management, a skill that is one of the most important lessons learned through her internship, she says.

Intern with Rubin Diaz Jr.   4:00 PM Bronx Borough President Ruban Diaz, Jr. stops in the office in between meetings.

“Whenever I’m at my internship on a busy day, I feel a sense of purpose and, at the end of the day, a sense of accomplishment and pride in the importance of the work I have done,” says Christine.

In addition to time management skills, Christine’s internship has taught her the importance of focusing on the “task at hand,” she says. She hones these skills as the co-editor of both the student newspaper the Mount Times and the literary journal The Underground.

Intern leaving   5:00 PM Unless there is an
event later, Christine typically leaves for the evening.

“The best thing to have on your resume is something that shows you have an interest in or, preferably, experience in your field,” she says.“When applying to intern at the Office of the Bronx Borough President, I made sure to highlight my interest in media communications, and also to showcase my expertise in multitasking, time management, group and event organization, writing, and editing.”