Think Tanks and Civil Societies

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 their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Hayley Boote, COL ’20

Living at Penn this summer was an unforgettable experience that opened my eyes to the many academic and social opportunities that Philadelphia offers. I was lucky enough to work as a research intern for the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute for the first months of the summer. The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program is run by Dr. James McGann and it is a yearly publication that ranks think tanks by country, region, and specialization.

In this capacity, I explored trends with Think Tanks internationally and helped organize the data found by serving as Data Czar. I was responsible for organizing all 8,000 think tank entries in our database, as well as assigning tasks to teams to further our research goals. At the end of the internship, my partner and I communicated our findings in a PowerPoint presentation with interactive graphics and key quantitative and qualitative trends. We were also able to attend a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with leaders at some of the nation’s top think tanks, which is an exciting venture and a great ending to the internship. I certainly improved upon my research, delegation, and data-managing skills in this role, and it was an invaluable experience for progression in my academic career.

This experience also helped me expand my knowledge of Philadelphia and the numerous significant attractions that it contains. At that point, even after living in Philadelphia for a year, I still had not been to key Philadelphian charms including the Philadelphian Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, Citizen’s Bank Park, South Street, Penn’s Landing, and Independence Hall. Being a student a Penn does not usually allow free time to explore these places, and most students at Penn go their four years without visiting most of them. Spending the summer at Penn allowed me the opportunity to visit these amazing places and learn so much more about the place that I call home.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.