#2 – Workplace Culture at the Urban Institute

One of the things that I am most impressed about by the Urban Institute is its workplace culture, which is friendly, collaborative, welcoming, and serious but laid back. I appreciate the lengths to which Urban has gone to make me feel comfortable as an intern – going through training with the full-time hires, being taken on a tour of the entire building by the administrator in charge of my department, a pizza-catered, hour long lunch with the president of the Institute, and a free lunch on my first day to ask questions all served to make me feel like a welcome and valued member of the institute, while also helping me to understand Urban’s values of evidence driven policy research.

The physical environment of my office is well suited to me. I sit in a modern, sleekly designed quasi-cubicle in an open office with about 10 other interns. I like this environment because it feels open and collaborative while also private and independent. However, much of Urban’s offices are stand-alone rooms, which I view as somewhat dated and closed off. This is helped, however, by the fact that Urban employees almost all keep their doors open at all times.

Thinking about my own career, I see a lot I like about Urban, and only hope to be in a somewhat more modern office space/layout.

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