Where are or did you intern? Briefly, what does/did your internship entail? I interned at the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) in downtown Chicago from
January - May 2011. I worked as the Science and Policy Research Intern. This position
entailed researching and writing literature reviews on various projects including
ELPC’s water quality project for midwestern states, hydraulic fracturing, Illinois
high speed rail project, and electronic waste recycling legislation.
What aspects of your internship do/did you enjoy most? Find most challenging? I thoroughly enjoyed all of the aspects of my internship. It was very beneficial to
work for a major player in the environmental law and policy arena. I learned how such
an office runs on a day to day basis, and what challenges a non-profit organization
faces in the current socio-political climate. I most enjoyed lobbying at the state
legislature for specific issues set by ELPC’s director. The most challenging aspect
of the internship was keeping my reports up to date as the subject matters usually
changed to some degree on a day to day basis.
How does/did your internship relate to what you have been studying at Illinois Wesleyan? The internship was very beneficial because it provided a means to coalesce my studies
and the information garnered through them at IWU in a way which allowed myself to
work in a positive manner for the environment. The internship allowed me to use scientific
knowledge and skills in combination with environmental policy information to generate
useful documents utilized by various employees at ELPC.
Has your internship given you any insight into what you would like to do upon graduating
from Illinois Wesleyan? Yes. This internship provided further insight into what is actually done on a day
to day basis in the environmental law and policy field. From my experiences at ELPC,
I was able to rule out environmental law as a future profession as well as strengthening
my belief I belong in the science side of this arena.
What advice, if any, would you give to Political Science majors looking for, or even
just considering, an internship? I would tell Political Science majors to not be too specific in there search queries.
I believe it is important to garner experience in general, and they should not limit
themselves to an internship which meets every one of their requirements. Also, I would
tell Political Science majors to not limit themselves in any geographical sense when
applying. If anything, I would suggest trying to find an internship in a region or
city they are not familiar with to allow themselves the opportunity to test their
current value systems and gain breadth in policy skills and personal experience. I
found it very beneficial to work in different areas than where I grew up or went to
school because it tested these core values as well as provided an opportunity to become
more aware of what other institutions around the country/world are practicing.