The Other Side of the Application Cycle

Posted on Friday, Jul 12, 2019

Whether you have just discovered the Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) or even if this is your second (or third!) time applying, what happens after you are selected may seem a bit uncertain -- and that makes planning for it tricky. Luckily, here is everything I wish I had known:
 
  1. Don’t wear overalls at your first meeting. A few days after you interview and are notified that you have been selected to for your respective internship program, the PPIP office will host a dinner and debriefing for you to meet your cohort, understand the internship application process, and get comfortable with the next steps. I made the mistake of not reading the fine print of this email, missed the line about business casual, and wore my signature overalls. Skip the part where you have to look Erin in the eye and promise her that you can read, and wear something other than your quirkiest denim.
 
  1. Take a breath! It is really easy to get swept up in how hectic school and your part-time job and your student organization is, making you stressed about securing a job for your internship term. Rest assured, though, that the PPIP team has been facilitating this process for years, and they would not have selected you if they did not believe that you could nail down a job. Say it with me folks: I will get an internship!
 
  1. Right before you leave, you will have even more time to unravel how this whole thing works. The PPIP does a great job of hosting a ‘training day,’ where they explain how to pay your deposit, what assignments you will have due (like these blog posts), and preemptively work out ways to resolve conflict with your new roommates. And, surprise, you get neat business cards!
 
Ultimately, it will all work out. You will make it to your host city, you will love your new job, and, if you are like me, you will eat snacks on the lawn of the National Mall with your best friend. Right now, it may seem daunting or insurmountable, but you have a whole team behind you, pushing you towards success. PPIP alum, what else do you think future interns need to know?

Emma Watson
National Academy for State Health Policy
Washington, D.C. | summer 2019