U.S. Department of Transportation
Up one level
Maddie Lapetina

Liberal Arts Major: Political Science
Minor: French, Business with the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Summer 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

This past summer, I interned with the office of Public Affairs in the Office of the Secretary for the Department of Transportation. I was placed in this position through the Future Leaders in Public Service program. I worked closely with the digital manager to create and post content on the Department and Secretary Buttigieg's social media accounts. I developed campaigns and analyzed platform analytics, presenting them to the entire Public Affairs team. I also got to write a press release on the anniversary of the ADA, do research for the Secretary's speech writers, and lead a cohort of interns through a special project. During my time there, I also got to tour an air traffic control tower and attend events featuring USDOT leadership.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because it gave me the opportunity to apply what I've learned from my classes and apply them in a new way. I have experience working in digital media from prior internships and on-campus leadership, but this experience allowed me to apply it to the federal government. Using my knowledge from classes and combining it with prior experience really set me up for success in this position.

"I got to meet and network with a ton of public servants with the most fascinating career journeys, and the connections I made will really benefit me in my future career!"

How will this experience impact your career goals?

I have always been interested in working in the federal government, but have spent most of my undergraduate education exploring what aspect of the federal government I want to work in after graduation. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed working in public affairs and how much policy was involved in it in addition to communication and media. Living in DC was also a great experience, and I'm definitely interested in moving there after I graduate in the spring. I also got to meet and network with a ton of public servants with the most fascinating career journeys, and the connections I made will really benefit me in my future career! Because of this experience and past experiences, I am excited to begin a career in politics and strategic communication after graduation.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

Working in the Career Enrichment Network as a network assistant has exposed me to many opportunities and resources available for liberal arts students. I am grateful for the support from the career coaches as I navigated the application process. I also received enrichment funding from the College and from the Political Science department, which was extremely helpful in my temporary move to DC.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows is always encouraging us to go the extra mile, which really pushed me to make the most of this rewarding experience. I truly reaped all of the benefits of my time at USDOT, gaining skills and products to add to my portfolio for future employers.

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