Emily Davisson (Olivet Nazarene University) and Analise Nuxoll (Westmont College) had the unique experience of interning alongside each other at the Center for Public Justice last semester. Below, they share about what their time together at CPJ was like. Though most students do not intern with a fellow student from ASP, all of them will be able to identify with Emily and Analise’s overall internship story from learning to commute and figuring out professional dress codes to gaining unexpected skills and having a life-shaping experience!
Analise: Starting off at the Center for Public Justice was…nerve wracking to say the least. I was so glad to know that Emily would be interning there with me, and together, we discussed what our time there might be like. The first day, we got off the bus approximately a mile early. Armed with high heels, pencil skirts, and lots of tissue (we were both incredibly sick), we got on another D6 bus and made our way to 1115 Massachusetts Ave.
Emily: For at least the first three days of my internship at CPJ, I couldn’t even talk because I was so sick! Stephanie, Katie, Peter, and Kendrick (CPJ staff) must have been worried about what they had gotten themselves into when they chose me. It was also a little awkward for the first few days because Lise and I didn’t know the expectation when it came to dress code. I think we were both highly overdressed, and probably took ourselves a little too seriously, in our suits and heels for the first week or two at CPJ. The staff and the two other interns quickly made us feel comfortable, especially Peter with his joking attitude and British accent.
Analise: I mostly worked with briefs and charitable solicitation forms during my time at CPJ. I did a lot of research regarding the IRS tax code in relation to non profits, and even spent some afternoons trying to get clarification from different IRS employees. Throughout this experience, I was able to have a better grasp on what sort of law I would like to practice in the future.
Emily: Soon after starting at CPJ, I realized that I had essentially taken on a communications/journalism internship. This made me a little bit nervous because my current college training didn’t help me with any of that; my major is political science with a minor in nonprofit management. I learned a lot about CPJ’s content and materials from years past; however, I mostly worked with their online journal for young adults, Shared Justice, and how to manage that website, edit daily articles, and promote its content via social media. I came to really appreciate the values Shared Justice stands for, including faithful Christian engagement in politics. As it turns out, I ended up working as the assistant editor of Shared Justice for the summer, where I manage all the current and potential contributor communication, the daily article schedule, and the social media for Shared Justice and Capital Commentary, which is very similar to Shared Justice, except it’s for people more established in their careers (35+).
We also had staff meetings every Wednesday. This was an integral part of our CPJ experience because it was during this time we got the chance to get to know other staff members and interns. We read the book Pluralism and Freedom, and had the chance to meet the author, Stephen Monsma. Weekly meetings were also a time where we shared prayer requests and praises for the things God had done in our lives. We both appreciated working for an organization that centered around the work of bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.
Analise: Together, Emily and I braved late busses, icy sidewalks, and freezing temperatures. We ran most days to catch a bus home, and talked about everything from CPJ, ASP, home life, and politics every Tuesday through Thursday. We discussed what it meant to be a Christian in Washington, D.C. and how our political views and involvement in the community reflected our faith. The days we spent at CPJ, whether interesting, painful, or funny, were days we will never forget. I know the experiences we gained have helped shape us to take on our next step in our educational and professional lives.