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Penn State Harrisburg Semester Internship Program; Internship with the Winter Group
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Almir Hodzic

Hometown: Greencastle, PA
Majors: International Politics and History

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship program at The Pennsylvania State University career fair.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a great experience with Penn State's Harrisburg Semester Internship Program. Not only did I have an the opportunity to intern with the Winter Group, but the program also required students to take a course in conjunction with the internship. The course added the educational background needed to understand Pennsylvania politics and helped me to be successful at my internship. Working at the Winter Group for two months not only gave me guidance, but also immediate hands-on experience. I am now very confident in working in the kind of professional environment involved in politics and consulting. At the Winter Group I was given the opportunity to coordinate events, call legislative offices, and perform research for our clients. The associates at the firm were always helpful throughout the program and gave me guidance to successfully complete the assignments at hand. I truly enjoyed getting acquainted with the various aspects of Pennsylvania politics, whether it was calling legislators for co-sponsoring initiatives or organizing lobbying days for our clients. The experience I gained from the Winter Group was more than I could have expected. I can honestly recommend the firm for any participant interested in gaining hands-on experience in the field of government affairs.

“I found the experience of the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program to be extremely enjoyable because students gain the educational background needed to succeed, while also attaining hands-on experience at their internship location.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, the program enhanced my knowledge of Pennsylvania politics. I gained sufficient information while taking the Public Policy 490 course at the Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg campus. The instructor highlighted the history of the Keystone State’s political framework. But also, the class allowed students to talk about the current political situation of the legislature in Harrisburg and how things might change in the near future with noticeable political shifts. Even more helpful than the course was the actual internship experience. Performing research assignments has enhanced my ability to go out and attain necessary information. Also, coordinating events for our clients at the Capitol helped strengthen my communication skills. Most importantly, just being in a professional environment related to government policy has given me the confidence of continuing to pursue my career goals.

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

My ultimate career goal is to be involved in government policy-making and diplomacy. Even though I have focused on the international aspect of government policy at Pennsylvania State University, I am also gaining an interest in local administration. By working at the Winter Group I had the perfect amount of guidance and hands-on experience in regards to local Pennsylvania politics. All the knowledge I attained during my internship can be utilized in either the local or international level of government administration.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would definitely recommend the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program to other students. By participating, students are situated in the middle of policy-making. Being in Harrisburg allows the participants to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of government affairs. I found the experience of the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program to be extremely enjoyable because students gain the educational background needed to succeed, while also attaining hands-on experience at their internship location. Participating in the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program is a life-changing experience for anyone interested in government policy and affairs.

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