Melding Passions

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 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 Brianna Raposo, COL ’19

Going into my junior year at Penn, I still wasn’t sure what I was looking to do after I graduated. I knew what my interests were and I knew what paths were available but I wasn’t convinced on which one was right for me. As a Health & Societies major, I’ve focused my time and efforts on the discipline of public health and have kept up my political work through my choice in extracurriculars. I wasn’t sure how I would meld my two passions together in a way that would be challenging, enthralling, and helpful.

When I decided to apply for politically-oriented internships on Capitol Hill, I knew that I was crossing into new territory. I’d never worked in public service before and was unfamiliar with the professional landscape of Washington D.C. All of that changed when I began my internship with the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who represents my home state of Massachusetts.

Focused on constituent services, the internship allowed me to better understand the needs and concerns of Massachusetts residents better than ever before. Having lived in Massachusetts from birth, I was aware of some of the issues that hit home for its residents, however, through my experience in the Senate, I could see how shifting political landscapes influenced their immediate concerns.

I worked on a team of passionate, kind, and eager staffers who were always willing to give advice and discuss their diverse career experiences with interns. Based on my interest in health care policy, I was tasked with attending related briefings, hearings, and Hill events and conducting research on this legislation. Through my time in the Senate, I was able to learn first hand how the legislative process works and how all of the moving parts interact with each other in order to create and pass laws. Combined with the knowledge I gained on the American health care system, this was invaluable to my experience as a student interested in health care and related policy issues. This internship opened new doors for me as I now realize that a career in public service is within reach.

I am currently applying to Masters of Public Health programs which would allow me to focus on Health Policy and Management to further my work in health care policy. My time on the Hill was filled with opportunities to learn from experienced professionals, many of whom started off in very different places, strengthen my network of political-oriented peers, and gain invaluable experience working for a U.S. Senator.

This internship was everything I wanted and more. I am grateful for the support of Career Services through this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I cannot wait to return to the Hill and continuing to fight for fair and equitable health care policies.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.

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