A Summer at the EEOC

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the Career Services Summer Funding grant.  We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending the summer.  You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Genesis Nunez, COL

My summer got off to a less than stellar start. Our drive down to Washington, DC from New York ended up taking hours longer than expected and since my housing plans had fallen through a week before, I had no idea where I would be. I thought that if this was any indication as to how the summer was going to go, I was in trouble. Luckily, that was not the case.

This summer, I spent my time interning at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a sociology major interested the intersection of law and discrimination, having the chance to intern at a federal agency dedicated to eradicating one of the most salient forms of discrimination was everything I could ask for in an internship. While at the EEOC, I got to work on various projects that had important and direct impacts on the agency. My first assignment was to compile a detailed list of directed investigations from the EEOC’s offices across the country as part of a study being conducted on why the Commission brings about such investigations. Other projects I worked on during my time there included conducting an extensive review of Worksharing agreements from offices across the country, editing the material that was going to be used at the annual national EEOC Investigator training session, and reading about joint cases between the EEOC and the Department of Justice. The highlight of my internship, however, was getting the chance to sit in on Commission meetings and listening to experts and victims testify on a range of employment issues from sexual harassment to retaliation. It was here where that I got the chance to see how it is the Commission interacts with the public to expand its knowledge on employment issues and really makes an effort to learn from those they serve. All in all, this past summer was the most meaningful learning experience I have had outside the classroom.

I would not do my summer justice, however, if I did not talk about the amazing experience that was living in a new city. I have been wanting to intern in DC for as long as I can remember and so I made sure to take in as much of the city as I could while I was there. My weekends usually consisted of visiting monuments, Smithsonian Museums, bakeries, and waterfronts. I went on a paddleboat in the tidal basin, watched fireworks over the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, and rode a bike around the city, all things which I had never done before. It was truly an amazing city.

My summer was an incredible learning opportunity, both intellectually and personally. I am incredibly grateful for all the great people I had the chance to meet and have rich conversations with. Thank you to Career Services for helping make this experience possible.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.