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Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
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Anthony Mitchell

Major: Political Science
Minor: Communication Arts & Sciences, Civic & Community Engagement
Hometown: New Orleans, LA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I am a member of the inaugural class for the new Study Away Pittsburgh Program. As a student for this program, I am paired with a community partner in the Pittsburgh area that is doing work around urban sustainability while also living in Pittsburgh for an entire semester.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am doing my internship with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), which is Pittsburgh’s economic development agency tasked with the purpose of increasing the city’s tax base and livability as well as improving the endurance of businesses, neighborhoods, and overall community. For my internship at the URA this semester, I am looking forward to achieving the following goals: develop an understanding of work-life balance at the internship and what a career in local/city government may look like; grow my existing knowledge about the world of politics by linking internship experiences to previously learned coursework and critically evaluating these relationships; relate this experience to life after college by networking with other professionals, understanding the qualifications necessary to be successful in the political field, and learning how to effectively demonstrate/convey skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience satisfies my consultation credits outside of my major for my Political Science degree and will help play into my research for my Civic & Community Engagement Minor. I also have a great interest in how government, institutions, communities, and individuals intersect for the betterment of society as a whole. I chose this particular program because it “fits in perfectly” with what I am studying and serves a great opportunity to further enrich my learning from Penn State classrooms through an understanding of similar events on a local level. This program will prove to be beneficial for me on multiple levels. Firstly, I will be able to get an out of class experience and engage fully with my studies while still working towards my degree. Secondly, the Study Away Pittsburgh program will allow me to travel, live, and work in a place I have not been; thus, this experience will help to shape my understanding of politics on a local level. Lastly, I can use the experience from this opportunity to fuel my continued studies into a Master’s Degree program in Public Policy.

...serves a great opportunity to further enrich my learning from Penn State classrooms through an understanding of similar events on a local level.

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

This will serve as great in field experience for my major as well as the first of many intended research opportunities going into my Master's Degree program (studying public policy with a concentration in community development and civic engagement). I plan to use this experience as a chance to explore and dive deeper into my personal and career interests for a holistic understanding of social implications of civic engagement through the lens of local and regional politics, competency of government systems, and social reform. Eventually, I plan to work in United States politics, thereby using this experience to better understand the part that individuals and communities play in shaping societies.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend the Study Away Pittsburgh Program to other students because it is a malleable experience that adjusts tot he student. The purpose of the program is to give the student the experience without prolonging their collegiate tenure. The program is affordable and easy to learn more about at the website, too. 

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


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