Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.
I applied to a number of different opportunities with organizations ranging from the College Board to the United Nations, including a position with the Michigan Department of State. I used LinkedIn and other job boards to find internships to apply for, and I applied for approximately 30 different internships.
How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?
My internship began in early-mid June, but I applied for it in mid-May. However, I began applying to internships and programs writ large in late February, and if anything, I wish I had started sooner.
If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your job offer, what were they? How did they support your application process?
I did not use any Career Center services to get this internship, but I have used Career Center services in the past, mostly to refine my resume. The Career Center has helped me learn what items to prioritize and how to format my resume so that it best shows my experience and skillset.
Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.
So far this summer, I have attended meetings of various commissions addressing issues regarding Michigan elections. I have also compiled fact sheets and drafted memos for senior staff, organized and helped standardize the signage which goes into branch offices of the Michigan Department of State, and redesigned a postcard which is mailed to Michigan residents when they turn 18 to remind them to register to vote.
What was a typical day like "on the job?"
I usually get to the office a little before 8:30 A.M, and spend my morning working on any tasks I've been assigned. Then the other interns and I usually go for lunch around noon, then return to the office by about 1 to continue working or attend any meetings we've been scheduled for. This continues until we leave at 5:00 P.M.
What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?
My main takeaway from this experience so far is that state government is far more complex and involved in the day-to-day lives of people than I expected, and also that a state's Department of State is, quite frankly, an underappreciated department, especially when it's run well.
Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?
This experience has helped me realize that I don't necessarily want to go into academia, but rather I want to put my political science knowledge to use by working in or alongside government. I like the work I do and the people I work with, and hope that my career will lead me to similar working environments.
“I like the work I do and the people I work with, and hope that my career will lead me to similar working environments.”
Major: Political Science/Spanish, Class of 2020
Company/Organization: Michigan Department of State