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Internship with Office of Attorney General - Bureau of Consumer Protection
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Bryan Wang

Major: Sociology
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Pittsford, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship through Network Simplicity.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

So far, my experience at the Bureau has been smooth. The first week or so was the most difficult, which is understandable given the novelty of the situation. My "job" isn't terribly complicated; a consumer files a complaint with a business and I act as a mediator. Communication is the cornerstone of the internship; the mediation process requires discourse, written and oral. Although day-to-day tasks don't require a whole lot of complex thinking, the conversations with the businesses and consumers are what ultimately have the biggest impact. The mediator has a chance to resolve the case where both sides leave satisfied, without legal action having to be taken.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Interning at the Bureau has given me a small glimpse into being involved in government and law, but it's also opened my eyes to the structure of the organization (Office of Attorney General) as a whole.

I'm taking this internship for credit (LA 495), which I'm hoping to be able to take the place of a 400 level sociology class. Interning at the Bureau has given me a small glimpse into being involved in government and law, but it's also opened my eyes to the structure of the organization (Office of Attorney General) as a whole. The Bureau is just one small link on a much larger chain, and it really doesn't have much jurisdiction. In this context, with most complaints that are filed, it takes integrity on both the business and consumer's side for the case to be resolved satisfactorily because the chances are high that the Bureau won't pursue legal action. There has to be a reasonable amount of suspicion that a business is engaged in fraudulent practice to do so. The Bureau also isn't allowed to give legal advice, so in many cases if a consumer isn't able to get what he wants and still wants to pursue the complaint, the Bureau can only suggest the consumer to pursue legal action privately.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

At this point, I'm really not sure of my career plans. At the very least, this internship will have helped me explore the field of sociology a little bit. So far, I don't think I could see myself working at the Bureau in the future. The people there are wonderful, which makes working there enjoyable, but the work process itself can get a bit monotonous and predictable. I don't think I could sit at a desk and make phone calls and generate letters all day. I think I'd prefer a more hands-on vocation, but I'll have to stay open minded about it all.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience because one, it emphasizes communication, and two, it's an experience. Anyone can take something valuable away from interning here.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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