In a strategic move to bridge the gap between academia and practical application, the Village of Freeport has unveiled a new internship initiative, created by Comptroller Anthony Dalessio and Human Resources Executive Director Conor Kirwan. Aimed at nurturing the talents of both undergraduate and graduate college students, this visionary program immerses participants in the realm of the financial department within the village.
Under the program’s umbrella, interns gain invaluable exposure to the inner workings of the general fund, water fund, and electric fund, thus equipping them with firsthand insights into the intricacies of government operations. The initiative has forged strategic partnerships with local academic institutions including Stony Brook, Farmingdale, and Hofstra university. These partnerships facilitated the recruitment of interns, all of whom are pursuing studies in accounting.
Comptroller Dalessio elaborated on the program’s origins, underscoring its potential to be a win-win proposition for all stakeholders involved. Beyond the financial compensation provided, Dalessio emphasized the unparalleled value of working within the second-largest village in the state.
“The initial idea was is always a need, the local government needed assistance,” Dalessio said. “There are many areas that touch accounting, knowing that there is a need for students who major in accounting and business at many of the universities, we thought it would be a good opportunity to give them exposure to government.”
The interns’ major benefit is the real-world experience they gain. While the internship is paid, the interns gain experience working for the second-largest village in the state, giving them valuable knowledge that they can take into their future careers.
Kirwan emphasized the fresh perspectives and innovative insights that the interns infuse into the village’s financial landscape. Their contributions, Kirwan affirmed, have been instrumental in bolstering the overall efficacy and productivity of the village’s operations.
“They’ve been doing a fantastic job, they’re getting experience, we’re getting the benefit of their services,” Kirwan said. “What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to show students what it’s like to work in local government. It’s been very successful.”
In addition to the new financial department internship program the village of Freeport also hired 26 high school students for other village departments such as the attorney’s office, the Freeport Village court, the treasurer’s department, the electric department, and the public recreation department. These students will be working for the village until Labor Day.
The internship program has shown to be a success for the town and the interns. The plan for the financial department internship program going forward is to expand the program for more interns and have the internship program run all year round. The current interns will be welcome to keep their positions if their schedules still line up with the program.