Blog #5: How my internship influenced my career goals

Yesterday was my last day as a Public Affairs and Research Intern at New Chicago Consulting. While I originally came on as a public affairs intern, a solid majority of the work I did was for the research team, because their work load was demanding and they needed a little bit of extra help. However, I was happy about this, because I wanted to gain political research experience for the future. The research aspect of my internship taught me a lot about how to shape our political landscape, and how to be successful in politics. I’m looking forward to using this experience to shape and push policies in the future.

The public affairs aspect was also very telling about my career. I realized pretty early on that public affairs was more rooted in communications than I would have liked. While I am less interested in news, media, and communications work, I did get some great writing experience. The internship helped me realize a new sector of writing that I really enjoyed- political writing. It’s very different than anything I had learned in school or past experiences. It has a very distinct tone, but can accomplish much if written well and strongly.

On my last day, we had an intern lunch where all of the employee’s shared their favorite internship experience and their first political experience. It was so helpful hearing what they had to say about succeeding in politics, and inspiring to hear their passions. However, while hearing about their passions, I realized they were not my passions. I really respect the work they do, and I do find politics interesting. However, my internship and supervisors helped me realize that I am more interesting in public policy and foreign policy than I am in campaigning. I am hoping to one day become involved in shaping our foreign policy efforts, rather than assisting in candidates’ campaign efforts. I am looking forward to using the knowledge I gained in this internship regarding shaping politics for my future experiences shaping policy.

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