The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes from the Field: Allyssa Dobkins '19

Allyssa Dobkins '19 interns at the New York City Council for the Winter 2018 term.

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Allyssa Dobkins '19 interned at the New York City Council for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

The New York City Council is comprised of 51 members, each representing neighborhoods within their districts in boroughs across the city. Together, the City Council works to improve the lives of not only the constituents within their districts, but also for all city dwellers by proposing legislation and actively participating in community-wide efforts that range from fundraisers to delegations. 

My time spent at the New York City Council provided me with an opportunity to put many of the skills I have learned at Dartmouth College to the test; it was a prime example of “experiential learning.” As an intern, I was tasked with aiding in both press and media assignments as well as legislative ones. Each day, I was responsible for gathering the most recent news articles, clips, interviews, and social media posts relevant to my council member, Ritchie Torres, and disseminating brief summaries to the entirety of his staff. My other tasks depended on the type of day scheduled for the council member. Some days were filled to the brim with budget meetings, others contained press releases and hearings, and some were not as busy which allowed for in depth research and office work. Regardless of the assignment at hand, I was able to follow City politics and witness the behind-the-scenes conversations and discussions surrounding upcoming bills and policy decisions. 

Although I have completed my minor in Public Policy, I plan on bringing my experiences and newly learned skills to Dartmouth as I continue to pursue a career in both the political and legal fields. Furthermore, my internship this past winter has taught me to be critical of the systematic bureaucracies that we often find ourselves depending upon. To this end, I have gained a new understanding of the press and its relationship with politics. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to complete this internship. This would not have been possible without the support of the Rockefeller Center and Peter McSpadden’s kind donation. I can only hope to one day pay it forward and aid in sending another Dartmouth student off to a foreign city to explore their professional career interests. 

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences