Intern name: Abby Rader
Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science
Title/place of internship/fellowship/etc.: Policy Intern/Environmental Protection Agency/Jackson Fellows
How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.? I found out about the Office of Water EPA internship through the EPA online portal. That said, the job I originally applied for lost funding at the last minute, fortunately, after reaching out to the woman who I applied to originally, I was able to secure a similar position.
What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.? At EPA, I conducted data analysis, produced visual aids and infographics, assisted in program management and reviewed and summarized policy.
What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience? The most beneficial aspect of my experience was working and networking with incredible people, both EPA employees and the interns that were alongside me. These relationships continue to help me as I look for future employment, but even more so as friends and mentors.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.? I was most surprised by the pace of life. At college, everything is happening all the time and at a super fast speed. At the EPA, although things would occasionally happen suddenly and put a wrench in plans and policies, usually the day to day is rather slow. The power of bureaucracy one might say.
How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future? Truly, I learned--or rather reinforced-- my knowledge that relationships are everything. Anyone can learn how to do a job, but to move up or to improve takes a community of people looking out for you.
What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience? Never be afraid to follow up. Ask questions! Even ask the questions you think are dumb, because your employer will at the very least like that you're thinking deeply about the work they do. Take every opportunity you can, you won't regret it!