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Borough of State College
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Ben Taha

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences, Sociology
Minor: Business and Liberal Arts
Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I called the borough and asked if they had interns, and we worked out an administrative internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Being involved in the local government was quite interesting. I had never envisioned myself doing something like it, but it was a pleasant surprise. Everyone who works for the borough is passionate about their work, friendly, and willing to help others in need, whether that is a fellow employee or the public. For much of my internship, I was the first line of contact. If you google "State College Borough," the phone number that pops up was me! I gained a lot of experience communicating over the phone with all types of members of the area. Also, I spent a lot of time organizing open records. It is not the most glorified work, but it was a way to make an immediate impact on the State College community.

How did this experience impact you academically?

First of all, I was eligible to get school credit for the internship, but I opted to take pay. I think that the experience made me thirsty to learn more. After a summer of real world experience, I was ready to go back and learn more from my professors and books in order to translate it back into real world application after graduation. I decided to switch into a couple of classes that can lead me into the law field to solidify whether that is really the road I want to take, and so far, it has been great! I also had the opportunity to take 12 credits for my last two semesters each. Instead, I decided to take 13.5 credits each to add a Logic class that I believe will help me in my future career endeavors. All in all, my summer motivated me to never settle.

After a summer of real world experience, I was ready to go back and learn more from my professors and books in order to translate it back into real world application after graduation.

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

I plan on attending law school a couple of years after graduation. As of now, however, I expect to work in consulting or lobbying, ideally in Washington, D.C. I think my experience with the borough this summer really piqued a dormant passion of mine in government and politics. This passion was always in me, but I needed an extra push from some real world experience. Helping make decisions that will directly impact the community around us is something that cannot be matched. Now I look forward to a more fast-paced post-graduation experience. Obviously, local government is different from state or federal government, but it supplied me a great prequel to what will hopefully result in a fruitful series.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend interning for the State College Borough. It was a great experience. You are exposed to influential members of the community and get to do meaningful work that has a direct impact on the community.

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