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Democratic Research Internship for Representative Mark Cohen through the Penn State Harrisburg Semester
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Emma Watts

Major: International Politics
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity by browsing the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts website and through my peers and family.

“I feel that I have begun building a professional network, which will help me when I graduate, and the internship also helped me gain skills in the field in which I hope to work.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was fortunate enough to be able to intern for a representative, a position that gave me the best access to learning about policy making. In the beginning of the summer, I was asked to write a resolution to be presented on the House floor. Also, after doing research on the minimum wage, I was given the task to write a bill analysis, which was eventually showcased in my final policy paper. Looking back on the internship, I definitely created a web of connections that I will refer to for years to come as I met many different representatives who held very similar views as me. This gave me hope that I will possibly get a job working for the Pennsylvania government later in life because some of the most important relationships I developed were with lobbyists. During my volunteering at the Voter ID Rally, I met many people who are campaigning for President Obama. As a result, I was asked to join State College’s Obama Campaign force when I returned to campus this semester.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I feel that I have begun building a professional network, which will help me when I graduate, and the internship also helped me gain skills in the field in which I hope to work.

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

I hope to attend law school in Washington, D.C. and to work for a lobbying firm, an idea inspired by this internship.  It is one that would combine my college dream of becoming a lawyer and my major which concerns politics.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes – working as a Democratic Research Intern was an eye opening experience and it definitely prepares an individual for a job in the political field or the legislature. 

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