As much as I thoroughly enjoyed winter break, I’m finally back into the full swing with new classes, a new internship and a new outlook on the future. Last semester, I interned at the Fund for Peace, a small non-profit that focused on international issues that could cause conflict. This semester, however, I am working for Third Way, a large think tank that focuses on domestic policy and culture initiatives.
As a first year AU student, I had a bit of difficulty deciding between the International Management concentration and the Non-Profit Management Concentration. After a bit of thought, it dawned on me – why don’t I do both? Having worked and studied abroad, I have a good level of international experience; however, as much as I have learned about domestic policy and practice, I have yet to actually work in it!
This is the thought process that led to my current position: the Culture & Domestic Policy Program Intern at the Third Way. It is a moderate think tank that literally believes there is a ‘third way’ of doing things – outside of the highly polarized political system between Republicans and Democrats. As a result, we perform research, advocacy, write memos, conduct public opinion polling and host a myriad events.
While the actual internship requirements are similar in terms of reading/writing/researching/analyzing, the major difference is geographical. What I mean is that I used to read/write/research/analyze only Africa – now I focus on only the U.S. (to be expected with the term ‘domestic’ in my title, I know). From the first few weeks, I’ve quickly figured out there is a lot to learn and a different culture in which to do so. As a result, I look forward to expanding my fluency in US policy and politics – afterall, the best way to learn something new is complete immersion!