Reflecting on Where I am Now – Blog #4

I started my college career on a very different path than I am on now. I entered my freshman year in the College of Engineering thinking that I could help make a positive influence on the world through mathematical and scientific innovations to help developing areas. While I gained a great deal of knowledge in my math, science, and engineering courses, I felt that something was missing. In high school, I was very active in a wide variety of activities including student government, debate team, and youth group. My engineering course load was very strenuous, and thus it was very difficult to find a balance with my other interests. I found myself missing the civic engagement and service activities I enjoyed in high school. My attention and desires were constantly being drawn to the upcoming 2016 election as I felt the need to get more involved. Thus, I grew increasingly unsure of whether or not engineering was the right major for me.

This was a very difficult time during my undergraduate studies as I felt very worried about my future. I did not know what the right path was to take or what would be best in the long term. Engineering seemed like a profession with much certainty in terms of the job market and the different careers I could pursue. Whereas I was unsure where a social science or humanities degree would lead me. However, I decided that I needed to follow my passions and explore what made me happy. At the beginning of sophomore year, I began to take more courses in areas of interest to me such as political science, economics, and women’s studies, and I decided to apply to the  PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) program at the end of the year. I was admitted to the program and completely switched majors!

While my coursework and extracurricular activities have influenced my future interests, my internship experiences have allowed me to realize my true passions and career goals. This past year, I participated in the Michigan in Washington Program and interned in the House of Representatives for Congressman John Conyers, Jr. from Detroit. I absolutely loved my experience on Capitol Hill. Hence, I am back this summer interning in the Senate for Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois.  I truly love politics and advocacy, and thus I would love to come back to D.C. to work the Hill. I am forever grateful to the University of Michigan for the experiences provided to me through programs and scholarships.

As I finish my summer, I cannot believe how far I have come since starting my freshman year. I am looking forward to taking more PPE courses senior year and finishing my major. I have decided that I want to work in government and run for office. I am currently studying for the LSAT with the hopes of using a law degree to make me a better advocate for vulnerable populations and to advance my work in the public sector. I am excited for the future and continuing to follow my passions.

4 thoughts on “Reflecting on Where I am Now – Blog #4

  • August 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm
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    I’m so glad that you followed your passion and even better, a rewarding internship experience at the end of it all. I look forward to seeing run for office Amy!

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    • August 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm
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      Thank you so much Antionette! I hope you had a great summer!

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  • August 15, 2017 at 8:24 pm
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    It’s so great to hear that you’ve been having a blast in your internship. Right now, I’m having an internal debate over whether or not to work for the government or work with the government in a third-party organization (e.g. NGO, IO, private etc.) Do you think that you’re more geared towards creating policy or influencing policy?

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    • August 15, 2017 at 8:43 pm
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      I can definitely sympathize with the internal debate you are having, as I experience this debate myself. I previously interned with an NGO that advocated for disability rights and policies, and it was definitely a different experience than interning within the government. I think that working within a third party organization is great if you are interested in issue-specific work and are very passionate about the issue being focused on. NGOs can be a great advocacy intermediary between the people and the government. I feel that third-party organizations are more policy based whereas the government is more politics based. Within the government, you are immersed within the legislative process and government decisions as well as party strategy. Both provide great learning opportunities, but I do feel that working within the government allows you to learn more about a wider variety of topics. The government is also very constituent-based, which I like. Because I am working for a Senator who I support, I do feel that my job inherently involves advocacy for issues I care about. I’d be happy to talk more if you would like or hear some of your thoughts on the topic. As I said, this is kind of how I feel now, but I could very easily be interested in working for a third-party org in the future.

      Reply

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