Loyola University Chicago

Masters of Urban Affairs and Public Policy


Student Internship Spotlights

See how some of our current students are kicking off their public policy careers!

Claire Kruchten

Intern, The 49th Ward Service Office

The 49th Ward is home to the Rogers Park neighborhood and Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. The Ward Service Office serves constituents of all backgrounds and local businesses to address their unique needs. Whether they are seeking affordable housing vouchers, requesting event permits, or looking to resolve neighborhood disputes, the 49th ward office provides them with the tools they need to both solve problems and celebrate triumphs. Additionally, the staff supports the alderwoman to bridge the concerns and interests of the 49th ward with the city council.

As an intern, my job was to help the ward office with basic operations, especially fielding walk-ins and callers. Some of my responsibilities included greeting constituents, filing 311 service requests, and directing them to other staffers to address more critical needs. There were often calls that required the help of other staffers like zoning requirements or tenant disputes. Sometimes issues were as simple as filing a service request for a broken tree branch, while other times I got to know constituents personally and helped them with ongoing issues. A few examples of the issues included requesting senior well-being checks, applying for housing vouchers, filing flooding reports, and providing mental health resources.

During my time working in the 49th Ward Service Office, I learned that constituent relations are incredibly personal --there is a very rich community in Rogers Park. The neighborhood is living, breathing, and constantly changing. There is so much need in the 49th, but even more, people are willing to help their neighbors and make their community better. My time in the 49th Ward Office has afforded me the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the MPP program to a work environment. I have gained a glimpse into both the ups and downs of constituent services, and am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the exceptional staff of the ward office and its constituents.