Center for Public and Nonprofit Management

Internship Success Stories

MEET NATE J. LULL 

Nate LullMajor: BA Urban and Regional Studies, Urban and Regional Planning track 

Graduation Date: Anticipated Summer 2022

Internship Placement: Ohio City Inc.

Nate interned at Ohio City Inc. during his senior year, and accepted a full-time position as their Neighborhood Planning Manager.

How did you learn about the internship opportunity?
I learned about the position through Levin’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Management’s internship emails.

How long did you intern there for?
I interned for about 7 months, working 2-3 days a week at first. The internship provided me the opportunity to become a full-time staff member at OCI at the end of my internship.

Tell us a little bit about Ohio City Inc and specifically the area you interned in.
Ohio City Inc. is a neighborhood community development corporation (CDC) in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. Ohio City is historically known as the “City of Ohio” until it was annexed into Cleveland (after a small battle that involved some destroyed bridges). It is home to the West Side Market and is one of Cleveland’s fastest growing neighborhoods. Ohio City Inc. does a little bit of everything, from rec leagues for kids to owning affordable housing in the neighborhood. We are also often tasked with helping carry out public engagement and planning processes for neighborhood improvements, which is the area I work in.

What's one thing you learned about Ohio City Inc. that you didn't know prior to your internship?
I did not realize that Ohio City Inc. had such an extensive reach, meaning there are services for everyone in the neighborhood. We have youth-leagues for kids and a homeless outreach worker, which really goes to show how we do a bit of everything community-related.

What did you do at your internship?
I mainly facilitated local design review meetings (which I still do). Ohio City has the largest local historic district in Cleveland, which means all projects and changes made to historic buildings must go to our local design review committee and then the Landmarks Commission for final approval. I also got to help out at community events such as Irishtown Bend Park engagement sessions.  Additionally, I was able to attend important stakeholder meetings with the city of Cleveland and private partners.

What did you learn about yourself?
I am naturally an introverted person. But with supportive colleagues and the opportunity to be part of something bigger than me, I feel like I have really been able to grow as a person and surprise myself.

How did you bridge your coursework with your internship?
Deploying what I’ve learned at Levin about urban planning has been wonderful as well as challenging. Understanding the technical side of planning and development has really been interesting, but I feel like I have a strong theoretical and historical background, due in part to my great professors and classmates.

What advice do you have for current interns or students who are searching for an internship?
Apply to everything you think might be interesting! I have fumbled in interviews before, and have been better for it. Realizing people are there to help and you don’t have to do it alone is huge. Make connections at events and through apps like LinkedIn. It will always benefit you to know as many people as possible.

What’s next?
Near the end of my internship, I was offered a position full-time as Neighborhood Planning Manager. I carry a lot of my internship duties such as design review, but also get the chance to work directly with public and private stakeholders in Ohio City. Additionally, I will have a bigger role in the engagement and planning processes in Ohio City, of which there are many currently. It is a fast-paced job which I enjoy, and I get to work in a field that relates to my major. I couldn’t ask for more than that out of college!