Internship Profile

Through my internships, I gained far more knowledge of “policy in action” than I started with this summer. Here are some significant take-aways: 

This was a huge lightbulb moment for me. Any career path will require a substantial amount of time writing. Start practicing NOW!

As my first position in a professional business atmosphere, I did not know what to expect. Although the office environment was relatively relaxed, it taught me how to behave in the workplace. At times I became so frustrated that I wanted to walk away and pout like a child, but I reminded myself of the setting I was in, took some deep breaths, and pushed through. Although sometimes I have to remind myself to use my “inside voice,” I adapted to office life.

I sought internship opportunities for a positive learning experience, but these positions also served as a resume builder. I started my internships with a resume of volunteer and student jobs but leave with professional experience that translates to marketable work skills.

Building a good relationship with your manager or supervisor should be one of your top priorities. Gain your manager’s trust by meeting deadlines, seeking additional work, and offering solutions. As you build trust with your manager, you may have an opportunity for additional responsibilities. Don’t forget, they will be writing your letters of recommendation for future opportunities! Also, don’t forget your coworkers. It is important to network with them for the future and—who knows— they might just wind up becoming your good friends.

Internships, along with informational interviews and job shadowing, gave me a real-world perspective that I wouldn’t have received elsewhere. We learn a lot in our classes, but hands-on experience is essential. I was able to experience government in action first-hand, which helped me decide on my future career.

While I am not sure that politics is my long-term goal, I do know that I want to pursue a law degree. This summer confirmed my passion for the public defenders role in the judicial process and my passion for criminal justice reform. I am looking forward to my SPEA classes and continuing to pursue my degree relying on some of the experiences and skills I gained this summer as an intern with Senator Donnelly and Mayor Hogsett.