During the previous school year, I worked on a policy analysis project that wanted to see how open Michigan four-year public colleges and universities were to DACA and Undocumented students. Through the benchmarking process we studied the admission, tuition/residency, and financial aid policies, as well as general support of 45 institutions. We then scored each institution, from one to four, on each category based on how supportive they were to DACA and Undocumented students. Our next step is to conduct case studies and look at the schools that received the highest scores more closely. Before we can do so, it’s important that we understand the demographics of the areas in which the schools are located. I anticipated that this would be what I would focus on during the summer.
My first few weeks, my mentor introduced me to a PhD student in the School of Social Work, who would be joining our team and would lead me in the work that we are doing. The student and I arranged to have weekly check-ins to go over how everything was going, but other than that I was on my own!
My internship differed from my beginning expectations in that I did not realize how hands off it would be. I had assumed that I would be constantly supervised, but to the contrary I was given a lot of free reign to do my work. At moments this was frightening because I was scared that I was not doing what was asked of me correctly, but over time I grew to like this freedom because it gave me a chance to grow.