Greetings! My name is Vincent Farinella, and I am a Student Intern (aka Jr. Procurement Specialist) at the Chicago Housing Authority.
For a brief overview of my employer, the Chicago Housing Authority is the largest owner of rental housing in the city of Chicago. The agency provides public housing to more than 50,000 families and individuals of Section 8 and Low-Income criteria and supports healthy communities in neighborhoods all across the city. In 2000, the CHA began the formation of their Plan for Transformation (the first of its kind) which entailed the demolition and renovation of several public housing sites across the entire City of Chicago in an attempt to end past public housing segregation and implement diversification throughout the CHA properties. Now in the Plan Forward phase of the plan, the CHA does business with over 100 construction contractors to take on these rehabilitation and demolition projects across Chicago.Authority. I work in the Department of Procurement and Contracts, specifically in the Construction division.
Being a double major in both Marketing and Finance at DePaul, working in the Procurement Department at the CHA gives me a good exposure to tasks in both fields. A typical day for me often consists of working on a new or existing construction IFB. I will create advertisement materials for it to ‘hit the street’ and solicit the vendor list. After receiving their bids, I will then review their submittals and financials and make recommendations as to the apparent lowest bidder to be awarded the contract. It can often be a long process that consists of a lot of paperwork. The typical day may not always be the most eventful, but my great group of co-workers always try to make it enjoyable by throwing small office events where everyone will bring different foods. I swear they are trying to make me a diabetic before I leave here!
On slightly more eventful days though, I am able to get out of the office and promote the CHA with some of my fellow co-workers. In an effort to reach out to companies/contractors within the community, I will also attend various vendor fairs, around once a month, to promote doing business with the CHA. Being a public sector agency, the CHA makes it a point to do business with minority-owned businesses around the community. One event that catered to such businesses, which I attended in late August, was the 2013 Hispanic Business Expo which held well over 100 companies in attendance.
Overall, this internship has been a wonderful, in which I have learned an immense amount about marketing, finance, public policy, construction, cake recipes, and much m
uch more. When I started this internship program in the beginning of summer, there were almost 30 of us interns and now there are only 6 of us left, and I am proud to be one of them. I continue to take on more responsibilities each day, and I look forward to continuing my learning and growth here at the Chicago Housing Authority.