Participated in: Fall 2009
Major: Political Science & Sociology
Internship Title: Intern for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Current Position: Policy Analyst at New America
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How has your experience with the Washington Program affected your career trajectory?
Interning for Speaker Pelosi in 2009 during health care reform was an incredible experience that showed me how passion and perseverance can truly change the world. It gave me a sneak peek into how federal policy is made. Intent on pursuing a career in public service, I returned to UC Davis after the Washington Program and added a double major in Political Science – Public Service. After multiple internships in California at nonprofit organizations, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy. I moved to DC four years ago to attend Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
How have your career goals evolved since your participation in the Washington Program?
I was always interested in politics and social issues, but the Washington Program showed me just how rewarding a career in public service can be. I fell in love with Washington, DC during my internship and knew that I would need to move back one day. I gained valuable experience during my internship that set me on a path to a career in a field that I love. While at Georgetown I had the opportunity to hone in on education policy as my field of interest and intern at the US Department of Education working on Obama’s Race to the Top District competition. I’ve been working on education policy research since graduation and I know that I would not be here without my experience with the Washington Program.
Describe what you are currently doing, and how your experiences in DC relate to your current position.
I currently work in the Education Policy Program at New America, a nonprofit nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC. My research focuses on early education, which encompasses issues impacting children from birth to age eight, and includes policies like child care, pre-K, teacher quality, etc. My team develops recommendations for policymakers and broader audiences to improve access, quality, and alignment in education for our most vulnerable students.
Do you have any advice for future Washington Program participants?
Explore Washington, DC and get to know new people! DC is an amazing city full of other passionate and smart people who are eager to make a positive difference in this world. Take advantage of happy hours, free events, and opportunities to learn about different organizations and careers. Don’t be afraid to reach out to UC Davis alums.