Benjamin Kiwanuka

Internship: Waltham Recreation Department

Tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities as an intern.
My day-to-day responsibilities vary depending on the department's goals for that week. I could be tasked with registering inventory for the summer camp programs one day, traveling to different fields operated by the Rec Department and determine their conditions, attending various meetings with my supervisor, reviewing contracts for the upcoming hockey rink season, and starting July 12, I will be coordinating the Bay State Games on behalf of the Recreation Department.

What is the atmosphere like? 
The atmosphere is very calm and welcoming. The department has about ten full-time staff who handle most of the day-to-day activities and they have been very cooperative and helpful with any questions I have. Given that I am the department's first intern ever, it has been a learning experience for both parties.

What experiences at Lasell helped you prepare for this internship?    
The Connected Learning approach has been very helpful during my time at Lasell so far and I have seen the same approach translate well into my internship. The ability to witness how the department operates on a daily basis kind of ties in with how the Connected Learning approach works.

How did your courses at Lasell relate to your internship?
Sports and Society is one of the main courses I have had the pleasure of taking at Lasell that relates to my internship. The course talks about the important roles sports play in our society and its pervasive nature. The Recreation Department programs are available to all Waltham residents but most of them are designed for the kids and youth especially those that hail from low-income families. From a youth perspective, growing up in these programs provides the kids with many benefits such as building strong relationships/socialization, role learning, self-discipline, leadership skills, health benefits as well as self-confidence.   

What has been your favorite part of being an intern?   
My favorite part of being an intern so far has been the learning process. It has been an eye-opening experience to be able to witness the hard work the department puts in daily to be able to provide all these different programs to the residents of Waltham. As an outsider, you would not have the same amount of appreciation for all the hard work the department puts in because you lack the knowledge.

Have you made any valuable connections?   
Yes, I have made some valuable connections largely thanks to my supervisor speaking very highly of me to every person that I meet 

Any favorite moments or memories at your internship? 
My favorite moment so far has been an interaction I had with one of the kids, Andrew. The one thing I did notice is that these kids are still innocent and most times than not, they just need someone to show them that you care. This has certainly been present through all the programs that the Recreation department offers and those that do run them.