Name: Jackie Clemence

Hometown: Highland, MI

Major: Political Science with minors in History and Community Action and Social Change

Internship placement: American Enterprise Institute – Public Opinion


Why did you decide to do Michigan in Washington?

I decided to do Michigan in Washington because I wanted to gain more real world experiences and apply my studies to the field of politics. The program provides an amazing opportunity to live, work, and study in DC all while getting a full semester of credits. It aligned perfectly with my goals to develop my professional skills and portfolio!


What do you do during a typical day at your internship?

I am the public opinion intern for the Office of Karlyn Bowman in Domestic Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. A typical day at my internship starts with a team meeting to discuss any hot topics in America that may affect how different groups feel or vote and looking through any new polls on American public opinion to see if they tell a story,
have been asked before, or if there are any questions that may be leading to respondents. From there the rest of day is spent analyzing polls to see what they tell us about various issues, politicians, and the overall feelings of the American people. I also am closely following and analyzing polls for the upcoming Midterms for the Senate, House, and Gubernatorial races as well as different ballot initiatives and referendums in states. My job is to attempt to predict how different groups of voters will act in the elections and what the
results of the election will mean for American. AEI is known for events and connections so there is always some event or speaker that I go to if I have the time!


Which elective are you taking and what’s the most interesting part of the class?

I am taking American Political Journalism with Carlos Lozada where we look at important journalistic stories that covered politics and their impacts. The most interesting part of the class is definitely reading articles written about events in the country that happened before I was born! The effect of major events in DC always linger in the eyes of the public
and it’s important to be informed on these issues. When talking about current events being covered by the media, it is always exciting to make connections to the work I am doing at my internship and to bring that knowledge in to the discussion.


What do you like to do in D.C. during your free time?

In my free time in D.C. I love to go explore Georgetown and Alexandria to look at the historic architecture and history! You can usually spot me early in the morning with coffee walking around the streets of DC before people are awake since I like to be able to wander around without much going on. I also am a total foodie so I have been exploring brunch spots and famous restaurants like Blue Duck Tavern, Zaytinya, and Maydan!


What’s something on your D.C. bucket list?

Something on my D.C. bucket list is to do a ghost tour in Old Town Alexandria! I love going there on the weekends and I think it would be a really fun thing that most people do not think to do in DC. I also really want hike in Piscataway Park in Maryland because it is meant to preserve the view George Washington had from Mt. Vernon.


What advice would you give to a student interested in Michigan in Washington?

The best advice I was given was to look at the deadlines of internships you may be interested in even before you find out if you are in the program! Many internships have early deadlines and you do not want to miss out on an opportunity. I would also not be afraid to use connections you make in DC! It can be awkward to ask for help, advice, and other’s contact information, but it’s the norm here and most people really want to help you!