Hauppauge, N.Y. – For the past few months, Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R-18th L.D.) and her staff had the pleasure of mentoring their very first intern, Nathan Blank, at the district office in Huntington. In addition to his position as an office intern, Nathan was also a page in the Suffolk County Legislature’s Page Program, which held a special graduation ceremony at the July 26th general meeting in Hauppauge, officially marking the end of both roles. This diverse experience equipped Nathan with a broad view of the public service arena and hopefully provided some insight to help him finely tune his career path.
Nathan is currently matriculated at SUNY Albany, enrolled in a dual degree program for a B.A. in public policy and management and an M.A. in international affairs with a concentration in homeland and global security. The formal education that he has received to date was quite useful, as he clearly integrated his knowledge base into his work as an intern and page to the delight of his mentors.
“Nathan’s academic training, coupled with the practical experience he gained this summer, should be considered the gold standard of what a college education should involve,” said Bontempi. “All too often, individuals spend years working on a degree without getting any related real-world experience – that is a big mistake.”
Aside from researching, writing and performing office functions normally associated with internships of this kind, Nathan also assisted the Legislator as she proactively visited with local businesses. By seeing firsthand how government can be brought directly to the people, Nathan gained invaluable experience regarding traditional, yet extremely effective communication techniques.
“In a world that has become so reliant on high-tech devices, too many of us are forgetting how to truly communicate with each other; sometimes that necessitates face-to-face meetings,” added Bontempi. “Exposing the next generation of leaders to this is absolutely critical, and Nathan is now a step ahead of his peers.”
To learn more about the Suffolk County Legislature’s Page Program visit: https://www.scnylegislature.us/895/Page-Program.