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Internship with PLEN 360 Summit Conference
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Nina Boscia

Paterno Fellow

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the PLEN 360 Summit Conference from an email newsletter provided by my internship coordinator. Washington, D.C. is a city that offers thousands of opportunities for summer interns and young professionals-- take advantage of them if you are able! If you're interning in Washington, don't hesitate to reach out to your coordinator or search organizations that you support to learn about similar opportunities. You can do this regardless of the city you're in-- it doesn't have to be D.C.! If you're interested in finding out about networking opportunities, leadership forums, or career preparation conferences, seek them out by asking your internship coordinator in your prospective city! Even if you're not in D.C., you're still able to participate in PLEN conferences and programs-- simply search the website for more information.

Tell us a little about your experience.

One of the most enriching experiences I enjoyed during my internship in Washington, D.C. was the opportunity to participate in a conference directed by the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). PLEN is an organization that offers programs specifically geared toward public policy and leadership for women. Based in Washington, D.C., PLEN addresses the environment in the city from the perspective of female impact. Participating in PLEN programs help women prepare for a successful career in public policy by providing skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities. I was lucky enough to participate in the PLEN 360 Summit, a two-day conference allowing me to engage with numerous, successful women in many areas of policy work, gain resume and LinkedIn advice, learn about salary negotiation, and interviewing tips. Connecting with successful women in the professional D.C. area provided me with an overview of many career opportunities in nonprofit organizations, government, and the private sector. These programs are open to college women, recent graduates, and young professionals. I met many students and young professionals who I still stay in touch with today!

The PLEN conference really solidified my goals to live and work in Washington, D.C.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The PLEN 360 Summit stressed the importance of academic success. The workshops and guest speakers continued to promote academic involvement and showed me that success really does include doing well in school. The program allowed me to develop specific academic interests that could lead to particular job opportunities. It encouraged me to take this newfound knowledge back to Penn State and incorporate my interests to coursework. Ultimately, my academic experiences were definitely enhanced due to my PLEN involvement through new knowledge about policy, nonprofit organizations, and different areas of work.

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

I will be entering a graduate program in Strategic Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. That being said, my career interests and goals were definitely impacted by my PLEN experience. Hoping to live in the Washington, D.C. area, the PLEN summit provided me with so many contacts and information about the landscape of policy work in the city. I not only was enriched by the programs provided during the summit, but I also learned about career opportunities. The PLEN conference really solidified my goals to live and work in Washington, D.C. The women who participated in the conference were successful in many different areas, giving me the confidence to believe I could find a lucrative and fulfilling position after graduate school. After graduation, I hope to work in communication consulting, political communication, marketing, or public relations. Many of the speakers at the PLEN conference had experience in one or more of these fields, so I was able to learn about the type of work they were involved with, as well as gain positive advice about the fields themselves.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students! You don't have to be a political science major to gain worthwhile information from PLEN-- women of all majors and backgrounds have succeeded in policy work! However, many Liberal Arts majors tend to lead to career opportunities within PLEN's realm of expertise. Liberal Arts women have the opportunity to network with successful women in so many different areas of work and will gain insight and access to potential career pathways and passions. Due to the broadness of Liberal Arts degrees, women should take advantage of learning from numerous career trajectories. PLEN offers all of these opportunities for women!

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