Reflecting on my experiences this summer has made me think about my path at school and what I wish to pursue once I graduate. As a result of my internship, I have come to realize that the course of study I have chosen at school is the right one for me. Because my internship was policy-based, and I am double-majoring in economics and mathematics, it may not seem like this job was a good fit for me, but I learned more than I could have originally predicted.
The organization I worked for lobbies for social science research funding and since I am interested in doing research in economics, it was useful for me to learn about how these projects are paid for and politically perceived. Following the appropriations process for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and then seeing how the NSF divided that money among the different fields gave me insight into how social science research is viewed in relation to other disciplines. In researching congressional wastebooks (documents some members of congress release questioning the validity and necessity of research grants they find useless), I acquired an understanding of how research topics can be misconstrued for a political agenda.
I am walking away from my summer internship with a greater knowledge of the United States government, specifically the legislative process, which will only benefit me in the long run.