DePaul Diaries: Life as a Chicago Public Schools Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


Most internship opportunities only last a few months to a year, but Danielle Rossi, DePaul history major, has been an intern at the Chicago Public School’s Office of Early Childhood Education for seventeen months and is still going strong. Danielle initially found the position through personal networking, but has come away with some great professional experiences.

“[At CPS] I have learned valuable collaborative skills from working on teams for different projects, but also, I have learned professional independence in order to get certain aspects of our project done and apply that to the larger group focus,” Danielle said.

Throughout her internship, Danielle has been charged with updating and monitoring the assessment site used by CPS preschool teachers, as well as assisting with enrollment and technical issues. Being a part of CPS and working to positively affect so many members of the community was Danielle’s favorite aspect of her job.

“We are one of the largest employers in the city and the third largest public school district. Our work impacts thousands of students,” Danielle said. “It is fulfilling to know that we are working to create a successful and safe learning environment for all children of Chicago.”

Danielle also loved the culture and environment of the education sector. The Office of Early Childhood Education celebrates all individual and departmental accomplishments, no matter how small.

Danielle also loved the culture and environment of the education sector.

“In my department, we are very much like a family,” Danielle said. Like most industries, academia places high value on teamwork, collaboration, and building professional relationships. As Danielle expressed, “everyone is willing to help each other out, whether it is to get the answer [to] a question or [to] prepare for our huge three day summer institute.” This positive atmosphere is only one of the reasons why Danielle has had such a successful internship experience.

Danielle believes that an internship can offer a great opportunity for students of all interest levels and majors, not just a select few.

“Don’t be afraid to take a dive into an internship you are not sure if you will like. That is the point of internships,” Danielle said. Danielle proves that with a positive attitude and an open mind, interns will expose themselves to a variety of worthwhile experiences and potential opportunities.


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

DePaul Diaries: Life as a TV Station Intern

By: Sean Nasi, DePaul University digital cinema major ’15

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.


After months of searching, Sofia Figueroa, DePaul digital cinema major, found herself an intern at, not one, but two different television stations, WAPA America and Corporación de Puerto Rico para la Difusión Publica. Sofia found both opportunities through the online market and was able to work near her home town in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She has learned valuable time management skills while balancing the two positions, which have helped confirm the focus of her studies at DePaul.

“This experience has helped me reinforce my career choice in working in communications and television,” Sofia said. “As a digital cinema student, this is a perfect opportunity to polish my skills and, at the same time, learn new aspects about the industry.”

WAPA is an independent channel that focuses on entertainment, while the Corporación de Puerto Rico is a nonprofit PBS affiliate that focuses on education and culture.

“Corporación de Puerto Rico is a bit more serious, but there is definitely a sense of camaraderie to work for the greater good of the company and its audience,” Sofia said. “At WAPA they are constantly brainstorming ideas to reach a wider audience. There is always work to be done, but there are also always those moments that we just laugh and have fun.”

Sofia’s experience at Corporación de Puerto Rico and WAPA has taught her versatility by opening the way to new experiences. She has even gotten the chance to apply her classroom knowledge to real-world environments with tangible results.

“Not only am I getting hands-on experience, but also all of my work is necessary to the company. It is a gratifying feeling when you know that you are an essential part of the team and that your hard work is out there in the world,” Sofia said.

“It is never too early to get work experience and in the long run it will only do you good,” Sofia advised. She is a living example of how hard work and persistence can pay off in the end.

Sofia reiterated, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because everyone has to start somewhere. After you get work experience it will get easier.”


Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.