Q. What was the name and location of your internship?
A. I interned at the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.
Q. Describe the internship site, including the mission and vision of the organization?
A. The Center for Women Policy Studies is a multicultural and multiethnic feminist policy research and advocacy institution. Their mission is to shape public policy to improve women's lives and preserve women's human rights. The Center seeks to bring the voices and needs of women and girls to major public policy debates on such issues as: educational equity, welfare reform, and violence against women and girls.
Q. What was your specific role at your internship site?
A. While interning at CWPS, I was intended to build upon the Center's work researching and advocating for women on welfare's postsecondary educational access. I needed to acquire any and all data and research relevant to this pressing issue. Being that welfare reauthorization is scheduled for 2010, the Center needed current and extensive research to advocate effectively for including postsecondary education as part of women on welfare's "work requirements."
Q. What hours/days did you work and what specific tasks were you expected to accomplish?
A. I worked Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. I was expected to gather research and data relevant to women on welfare postsecondary educational access.
Q. What were the strengths of this site as an internship?
A. The women who work at CWPS are dedicated, passionate, brilliant and truly inspiring individuals. Their drive to improve the lives of women certainly enables them to make a meaningful and positive impact on public policy.
Q. What were the limitations, if any, of this internship?
A. The Center is employed by only four full-time staff members. The size of the Center definitely creates limitations regarding how many issues/projects they can dedicate their time and energy to.
Q. What did you particularly like or dislike about this internship opportunity?
A. I enjoyed surrounding myself with incredibly wise and passionate women of diverse backgrounds. Additionally, if it was not for this internship, I would have not acquired extensive knowledge of the welfare system and how it systematically denies women postsecondary educational opportunities. I truly appreciate how much I was able to learn this summer.
Q. What skills or knowledge did you learn from your experience?
A. I definitely sharpened my research skills! I also learned a great deal about the in's and out's of running a non-profit.
Q. How has this internship shaped your academic and career goals?
A. I definitely would like to pursue a graduate degree in Women's Studies and promote low-income women's educational equity as either a teacher or a non-profit professional.
Q. Would you recommend this internship to other students? Why?
A. YES! I was offered the opportunity to learned so much about the particular research area I was designated to. If it was not for this experience, I would not know both how truly flawed our current welfare system is as well as how to effectively advocate for changing this system.
Q. Do you have any additional information or advice you would like to say to future students partaking in this opportunity?
A. It's so important to dedicate yourself 100% to an internship experience. The individuals you meet during such an experience could wind up becoming an incredible reference on your resume or even life-long mentors if you demonstrate what you're made of!
Interview conducted by AIP student assistant, Chas Frontz (class of 2011).