In mid-May I started working at the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) in Washington, D.C. It’s been a few weeks since the beginning of my internship, so I’ve had time to reflect on how my first days went and what drew me to the opportunity in the first place.
COSSA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for federal funding of social and behavioral science research and the use of this research when forming policy. With a large group of member organizations that includes universities, research institutions, and professional associations, COSSA acts as a common voice for those involved with the coalition. As I am currently pursuing an economics major and thinking about the future possibility of attending grad school in the field, learning about how social science research is used and viewed in a non-academic setting is very interesting to me.
Despite COSSA’s large membership, the core office staff is comprised of only three people. Because of this, the stress and anxiety I felt on my first day was quickly replaced by a sense of familiarity as I got to know everyone I would be working with. As I learned of the responsibilities of my internship, I realized that this job would be a great fit for me this summer. From attending Congressional hearings and community events around DC to researching policy developments and funding patterns of various federal agencies, I saw that I would be keeping busy and learning a lot.