Undergraduate Jeremy Brown Interned at the White House as Part of the Michigan in Washington Program
The Michigan in Washington program takes undergraduates to live and learn in Washington, D.C. During their time with MIW, students take a full course load of classes with peers from across the country and gain professional experience through internships. MIW is open to all undergraduate majors.
Jeremy Brown is an undergraduate student with a double major in Economics and Political Science. He spent the summer interning in the office of Presidential Personnel, essentially the office in charge of researching, vetting, and retaining all candidates for nomination of bureaucratic offices. U-M Economics spoke with Jeremy about his experiences.
How have your experiences compared to your expectations?
My experience interning in the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House far outweighed any expectations I had prior to my four-month internship. I had the pleasure to work with the most passionate, and intelligent public servants who not only taught me what it meant to serve our President, but what it means to serve in an administration that truly wants to do good.
How did your coursework in economics prepare you for this internship?
My coursework in economics was most applicable to my internship during the application process. During the course of a phone interview, I was asked what public policy issues I was most passionate about. Since I was enrolled in ECON 320, Labor Economics, with Professor Stanley Sedo, the extensive class conversations regarding the federal minimum wage prepared me speak to my interest in Federal Labor law reform, an issue that I hope to continue working on after graduation.
What interests you about economics?
My interest in Economics has primarily focused on public policy applications of economic thought. The classes that I have found most rewarding were ECON 441 (International Trade) and ECON 320 (Labor), because the majority of class discussion surrounded real-world applications of theory on topics that are constantly up for debate. I ultimately want to use the knowledge I have gained in my Economics education to create more fiscally sound economic policy.
Why do you think this internship is important?
My internship has been critically important to my personal and professional growth. I gained a nuanced understanding of what my skills truly are, for example I learned tremendous organizational skills while operating in an incredibly fast paced office and taking a full course load as part of the Michigan in Washington program. This greater understanding for my strengths and weaknesses has allowed me to narrow my focus on the types of jobs and positions I am interested in after my time at Michigan is complete. Personally, I made some incredible friendships, among both fellow interns and full time White House staffers, all of whom held a similar passion for public service.
A special thank you to the Shuyi Li Scholarship for Community Service in Economics for helping facilitate this opportunity, and to Jeremy for sharing his experiences with us.
Applications for the MIW program are reviewed semi-annually in October and March. The next deadline for applicants is Friday, February 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm. Please see the MIW program page for eligibility, costs, and other frequently asked questions.