The Spring 2015 semester is flying by as students go to their internships and work on their group projects. Three students took a few moments to report on how their internships are going.
Christina McIntyre, Messiah College
I’m a poverty policy intern at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). IPS is an activist-oriented think tank of public scholars. Over the past few weeks at IPS, I’ve been learning what it means to be a public scholar: to use research for social change. It’s public service through grassroots, academic, and institutional activism. My research at IPS focuses on economic hardship in the U.S. I’ve written about education inequalities, homelessness, and economic segregation. Currently, I’m helping to coordinate advocacy between Maryland and D.C. lawmakers for criminal justice reform. My internship at IPS has taken me all over the city to hearings on the Hill, meetings with activists at Busboys and Poets, and presentations by Brookings, New America, and other think tanks. Interning in D.C. is an incredible opportunity to engage the issues and ideas I care most about.
My name is Alberto Sanchez, and I am currently interning for Senator Johnson’s office. I do a lot of different things in the office. I am slowly becoming accustomed to the internship routine. Every morning, I prepare newspapers for every staff member; I also sort mail appropriately as it comes in. The tasks that I do can seem dull; however, I like to think that I am contributing by serving the American people. There have been a lot of interesting experiences that I have had thus far. For example, the other day I met with my chief of staff. He said that interns are just as important as a chief of staff or legislative aid; he told me that interns deserve respect. I was proud after the conversation that I had with him. I learned that interns are very important contributors to the welfare of the nation. I also enjoy giving tours of the Capitol. The Capitol is majestically beautiful from the inside. I am very happy that I have the opportunity to intern on the Hill. Lastly, the staff members at Senator Johnson’s office are very nice and cordial. They have told me that I can talk to them whenever I want about anything relating to their field of expertise. Furthermore, I have attended committee hearings that have expanded my knowledge of issues such as immigration, foreign relations, and national security. Clearly, I am learning about the importance of the United States Senate and how interns contribute to the nation’s prosperity.
Amanda Bishop, Biola University
I am the External Affairs intern at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). AEI is a policy think tank that aims to produce the best scholarly work on a variety of issues. Our scholars’ work is published for policymakers and the public to read. My job is to assist in promoting the work put out by AEI scholars and maintaining connections with the public. So… what does that look like on a daily basis? Well, it depends. Some days, I sit in front of a computer screen for 5 or 6 hours, updating a database of contact information. Last week, I went to C-PAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, where I got to give out books written by AEI scholars and hear speakers like the Former Ambassador to the UN. Sometimes, things get really exciting. For instance, a few weeks back I found myself shaking Newt Gingrich’s hand in a meeting of less than 20 people where I was taking notes. The week after that, I sat in on a presentation about the struggle for freedom in Iraq and afterward said hello the the Iraqi Ambassador. And instead of being asked to fetch coffee, the AEI provides a fresh carafe of Seattle’s Best for staff and interns every few hours.