Without the Social Science Scholars program and guidance, I would not have had the opportunity to discover my career passions and how I want to translate the in-class learning I receive to my practical real-world applications. This summer I learned how nonprofits work on a deeper level, how my own identities shape the work I want to do in the future, and how social issues like homelessness are being addressed in cities across the nation.
Without the generous funding and informative leadership seminar that Social Science Scholars provided me with, interning with an organization abroad would have been unimaginable. I am so thankful for the summer experience of living and working in rural Costa Rica. Through this trip, I was able to directly impact the communities of Playa Samara and El Torito by engaging the children in lessons that contribute to their personal growth. Interning with La Asociacion CREAR has also provided me with an intercultural experience that has allowed me to view the world through a new perspective.
This past summer, I worked on two different projects through Social Science Scholars. During the initial part of the summer, I worked on my Honors Thesis and IDEA grant research project in the region of Catalonia focused on the region’s declaration of independence. On the latter half of the summer, I became a Lex fellow…
My internship and broader experience within the Social Science Scholars program helped me gain a clearer focus on my plans post-graduation. I have decided to use my fourth and final year as an undergraduate at Florida State to fulfill requirements for dual degrees in Political Science and Spanish. I already intended to pursue a graduate degree, but some of my conversations with executive staff during my internship led me to reconsider my program of study, and to shift away from political science and toward data science. My ultimate goal is to work in either state or federal government, or as a researcher at a think tank, and to be able to use both my political science background and my data science skills to craft robust, empirically-derived public policy.
I spent the Summer of 2018 interning at Healing Justice Project in Washington, D.C. Healing Justice Project has two main goals: inform policy and hold healing retreats. Simply put, healing retreats are where wrongfully convicted persons and original victims (none which know one another) can come together, usually over a weekend, to discuss their experience….
I was stunned by how little could be done within the legal system to support people who had been deported from the US and was instead drawn to the power of the media to shape public discourse. I hope to build experience to one day write for a popular science magazine and work to bridge academia with outside communities.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience and am heavily considering going into production following graduation. What I liked most about the role as an underwriter for a wholesaler was seeing the balance of multiple layers of responsibility. As a broker, it is important to maintain your relationships with both your carrier underwriters and with your agents. To gain trust from both sides, it is important to be an expert at what you do—be ethical, know your contracts and guidelines, and show integrity.
My summer in DC allowed me to see the inner-workings of a women-focused non-profit while giving me the flexibility to work on my thesis. Currently, I am in the process of applying to various law schools. I am plan to earn my J.D. and work for the government in some capacity, either in Florida or in DC.
I am incredibly grateful to the Social Science Scholars program for both the generous funding and the leadership training, which will benefit me throughout my life. My project was immensely valuable to my personal, educational, and professional experience. I am now well-versed in how I can combine my prior experience in public diplomacy and languages with environmental conservation, something I am extremely passionate about.
Post graduation, I aspire to pursue a career in the hybrid non-profit and social entrepreneurship space in the developing world. While I have suitable experience on the non-profit side of things through different involvements with NGOs over my previous summers, before this internship I had never been directly involved with profit-focused entities. Accordingly, my time with VGS and PrivySeal served as my first real-life exposure to the business world and helped fill my experience void. Because of this, I can say with complete confidence that this summer allowed for enormous personal and professional growth and has brought me significantly closer to my eventual career goals.