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- University News
Rutgers-Camden Students Gain Experience in Local Government Through Internships
CAMDEN —For Rutgers–Camden students, internships are essential parts of learning that provide opportunities to gain real work experience and expand professional skills.
This fall, while voters elected local and national leaders and re-elected a president, a group of Rutgers–Camden students were preparing for their own political careers through internships in local government.
“My internship was a real hands-on experience that allowed me to work in a professional environment and see how a city is run,” says Tamari Ramishvili, a junior Camden resident who interned for the City of Bridgeton. “I gained more confidence, developed amazing relationships, and learned the basics of local government.”
Ramishvili, an Oakcrest High School graduate, worked out of Bridgeton’s municipal building and the city’s Department of Development and Planning, where she made contact with vendors and contractors looking to bring their business to the city.
“They threw me right into the fire,” says Ramishvili, who is double majoring in philosophy and political science. “I helped work on projects while learning all of the details and steps along the way.”
During the fall 2012 semester, 24 undergraduate students representing 14 majors were enrolled in internships through an internship course facilitated by the Rutgers–Camden Career Center. Five students worked for a political office or municipality.
Cody Miller, a senior political science major from Monroe Township, was active in helping people register to vote through his internship with the Gloucester County Democratic Committee.
“The hands-on experience outside of the classroom was extremely beneficial to me learning more about the process of elections and government,” says Miller, a Williamstown High School graduate.
Miller also encouraged citizens to vote on Election Day and helped make fundraising calls for the committee.
“What interested me about the internship was how dedicated the people were in ensuring the voices of Gloucester County people were heard,” Miller says. “I ultimately want to help people and our leaders do that every day. Hopefully one day I will use what I learned from my internship to run for public office.”
Rachelle Rankin, a nontraditional student majoring in political science, researched a wide variety of policy issues for her internship with Majority Assembly Leader Louis Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt of New Jersey’s Sixth Legislative District.
“This internship allowed me to explore my policy interests,” says Rankin, of Blackwood. “The work I did made me more knowledgeable of the important issues of today.”
Rankin says she researched issues like wage and income equality.
“I strengthened my research and writing skills and gained confidence in my understanding of real, local and national issues,” she says. “I made several contacts and gained excellent references that I intend on maintaining. This was a great experience and resume booster and look forward to completing my degree and continuing serving my government.”
To learn more about internship opportunities at the Rutgers–Camden Career Center, visit cc.camden.rutgers.edu.
Media Contact: Ed Moorhouse