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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE 90.5 The Night Celebrates 40 Years
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
LINCROFT, NJ - On the 1st of October, 90.5 The Night Brookdale Public Radio marks its 40th Anniversary of radio broadcasting by kicking off a... Read More...
16th Annual Interdisciplinary Forum on the Vietnam Era
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
Holmdel, N.J. – On Friday, October 17, 2014 from  8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will hold its... Read More...
New Jersey Fisherman Encouraged to Access Federal Fishery Disaster Relief Funds
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) encouraged New Jersey fishermen affected by Superstorm Sandy to apply for... Read More...
Monmouth University Polling Institute Ranked in Top 7% by Polling Analyst Nate Silver
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
West Long Branch, N.J. - The Monmouth University Polling Institute (MUPI) is ranked among the top 7% of all pollsters in the nation after... Read More...
Man Who Fled Newark Bank Robbery in a Taxi Pleads Guilty
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
NEWARK, NJ—An Essex County man who left the scene of the crime by hailing a cab admitted today to robbing the New York Community Bank in Newark,... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE The Hangover
by Anne Mikolay
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
Let's talk about my hangover. Shall we? Let me begin by saying this: my hangover has absolutely nothing to do with liquor or Bradley Cooper's 2009... Read More...
IMAGE The Fast Changing World
by George Hancock-Stefan
Wednesday, 01 October 2014
Sometime last year, I shopped at one of the large stores in the Monmouth Mall.  I bought a suit and the gentleman selling me the suit was so... Read More...
IMAGE What’s Living in Raritan-Sandy Hook Bays?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 28 September 2014
On Sunday, September 28, volunteers with the Bayshore Regional Watershed Council, an all-volunteer environmental group dedicated to restoring Raritan... Read More...
IMAGE Wakefield Gets SA Chapters Running
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 27 September 2014
My featured person this week, Margery Wakefield, of Lansing, Michigan, has had lifelong struggles with schizophrenia, a mental health disability. For... Read More...
IMAGE Life in the Tidelines near NY Harbor
by Joe Reynolds
Thursday, 25 September 2014
There’s a nor’easter heading our way, but the other day it was sunny, calm, and lovely out. Trying to take advantage of the pleasant weather... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Thu Oct 02 @ 3:15PM - 03:45PM
School Age Programs Grades K and up
Thu Oct 02 @ 4:00PM - 04:30PM
Preschool Story Time Ages 3 – 5
Thu Oct 02 @ 6:30PM - 07:30PM
What’s On Your Plate? Family Nutrition
Fri Oct 03 @11:00AM - 12:30PM
Jersey City Revisited
Sat Oct 04 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Free Rabies Clinic for Dogs ONLY

mikolay_headshot_2011_120In today’s dire market, there are very few educationally enlightening and exciting job opportunities. Indeed, many Americans have been forced to accept the realization that it has become increasingly difficult to find work. For college students, particularly those seeking mandatory internships, locating a position in a relevant field of study can often be like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

And yet I was able to find an internship not only directly related to my political science major, but one that afforded me an enlightening, enjoyable, albeit often-times trying, learning experience. This summer, I served as an intern at the Office of Governor Chris Christie. For three months, I worked in the Constituent Relations Department of the most controversial politician in the country, an opportunity unlike any other. While most students were relaxing on the beach, I was busy at work in the depths of Trenton’s State House, watching as New Jersey’s future was forever altered.

If someone would have told me three years ago that I would have spent my entire summer working for a Republican Governor, I would have dismissed them as crazy. I am a member of a third party. I invest very little faith in the two-party system and often criticize both the Democrats and the Republicans for their foolhardy, self-serving attitudes. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone to learn that I didn’t actually vote for current Governor Christie; my ballot was cast for an independent candidate. 

However, a scant few months after Christopher J. Christie assumed office, I found my opinion of the man slowly changing. During the campaign season, I didn’t believe a word he said; Republicans and Democrats simply don’t keep their promises. Neither are trustworthy. 

As the weeks passed, however, I became increasingly aware that Christie was indeed fulfilling his campaign promises and making some very controversial decisions along the way. As unpopular as these choices may have been with select segments of the population, I realized that they were in the best interest of the State of New Jersey. 

It was through this steadfast commitment that Christie earned my respect and admiration. 

Thus, after months of following Governor Christie’s war against the public worker unions, the NJEA, and a whole slew of other organizations, I decided that, as I witnessed history unfolding, I somehow wanted to become involved. 

I applied to participate in the Governor’s internship program. I actually didn’t expect to be accepted, and was almost certain that my resume would become lost amidst a sea of competing Republican loyalists. At some point in March, however, I received a phone call that I had been chosen to work in the Office of Constituent Relations. 

I have had several jobs before. I worked at a pool club, as a licensed pharmacy technician, and in a department store, but I had no experience in the public sector, nor had I engaged in any business that required the level of professionalism expected in the Governor’s Office. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was initially somewhat hesitant to accept the newly offered position.

I ultimately decided to give it a shot, and I am happy to say that I feel I made the right choice. For three months, I helped constituents who had reached out to the Chief Executive for assistance. In the process, I became increasingly familiar not only with Governor Christie’s individual policies, but also how elected officials and their representatives handle themselves. 

My internship certainly didn’t occur at a boring time. For example, I was able to witness the pandemonium that engulfed the State House during the initial pension reform hearings. I saw the protestors, heard their chants, and watched their ultimate defeat. I was even able to sit in on the Senate’s session pertaining to the pension reform bill, thus witnessing a pivotal moment in New Jersey history first-hand.

I was there during the asthma scare and “chopper-gate,” the asinine scandal that engulfed the Garden State during a particularly slow news week. I met Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, best selling author Bob Ingle, and most importantly, I was able to work in the office of the man whom many believe will someday by the President of the United States. I participated in some of the most controversial moments in New Jersey history and watched as the once mighty NJEA came crashing down. 

For that, I will be ever grateful.

Yes, Governor Christie and I do have some political differences. I personally don’t agree with all of his social policies. That said, I do believe that he has made courageous decisions that are in the best interest of the taxpayers of this state. I think that he truly means what he says, and I don’t think he will ever back down without a fight. I respect the man and am proud that he is the governor of my state. 

My internship has since come to an end. In September, I will return to school for my final year of college and then, if I am lucky enough, I will be on my way to law school. The past three years have been a difficult journey, but I can’t help but reflect on something Governor Christie told his interns during our final day. As we congregated in his office, he quoted his late mother and said: “Be true to yourself today so that tomorrow you don’t have to remember who you pretended to be yesterday.”

If I took anything from my internship, it was that sentiment. As sappy as it may sound, I have always been true to myself. My beliefs and political ideals are unwavering, but to have someone as prominent as Governor Christie re-enforce that conviction and encourage his interns to remain steadfast in who they are, even in the face of opposition, was truly inspiring.