Interns Make an Impact in Robbinsdale
This summer, the city of Robbinsdale has been bustling with the energy of two driven college interns who have been making a significant impact across various departments.
University of Minnesota senior Jack Bollinger and University of Wisconsin-Madison senior Elena Ortiz have been gaining hands-on experience in the city’s administrative and engineering departments, respectively.
For Bollinger, who is completing a six-month internship with the city’s administrative department, a typical day is anything but routine.
“A normal day is pretty variable; it depends on what different department needs me. Most of the time, it’s the code enforcement department where I’m helping out with city nuisances or different complaints around the city,” said Bollinger.
Bollinger said he’s found the professional development aspect of the internship to be particularly rewarding.
“Stuff like this you can’t replicate in a classroom, so the biggest thing for me has been able to learn how to thrive in a work culture and especially in a government one, which is just a lot different than what I thought it would be,” he explained.
Gaining Real-World Experience in City Departments
Ortiz, who has been working with the city engineering department, echoed Bollinger’s sentiments.
“I liked the feeling of a small-knit community which I know Robbinsdale really has that sense of community,” said Ortiz, whose work involves overseeing infrastructure that lies beneath the city’s streets.
“I work with a really good team of people just to oversee the infrastructure that goes underground for the city of Robbinsdale,” she said.
Ortiz has been actively involved in the Hubbard Avenue construction project, a significant undertaking for the city.
“We are replacing the sanitary storm and watered the water pipes,” Ortiz explained. “It’s an improvement project where we’re adding bigger pipes because Robbinsdale is growing.”
Ortiz said working in the construction zone has given her a unique perspective that she couldn’t have gotten elsewhere.
“Being on-site, so close to all the construction and the noise and all the movement, it’s very different from just driving past,” explained Ortiz.
Richard McCoy, Public Works Director and City Engineer of Robbinsdale, expressed his enthusiasm for the interns’ contributions.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for students as they come through their courses to get a taste of the real world,” he said.
McCoy emphasized that the city hopes the interns enjoy their time while using the experience to propel themselves forward in their careers.
“We get the assistance of having these intelligent young folk come on board with us and bring their ideas and their eyes to the projects that we’re doing,” McCoy added.