Political science in the nation’s capital

Political science in the nation’s capital


My name is Alicja Duda. I’m a senior
at Stetson majoring in political science and my hometown is DeBary, 20 minutes
from here. So, this summer I interned as a research associate for 12 weeks in
Washington, D.C., at a research organization called the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, which is basically a think tank that researches political
affairs in the Western Hemisphere – so between Canada, the United States, Latin
America and the Caribbean. And the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, or COHA, is an unpaid internship so thankfully I did get a lot of funding from Stetson University from the internship scholarship. I’m a commuter. I commute, like, from my house to Stetson University, and although I’m a really involved student,
this was a totally new experience for me because I lived on my own. I came into D.C. not knowing anybody so I had a lot of personal growth, learning how to cook
for myself and take care of myself. D.C. is a really accessible city and being
able to take the metro – and people are very friendly – so I had a great time. Being
able to immerse myself in just 12 weeks of research, I got to explore topics
that were very personally interesting me – like development policies in Latin America, women’s rights, indigenous rights – all very relevant and complementary … complementing my coursework at Stetson. I think the coolest part of interning at
COHA was being able to work with a team of other undergraduate and graduate
students, and also work with professors who are associated with COHA and experts in the field. I went on idealist.org and started Googling political science
internships in Washington, D.C., and I found the perfect one that I was looking for,
which is just doing research and immersing myself on topics that I’m interested in. Like I said earlier, living alone in D.C. was a huge personal growth experience and I think professionally the coolest part was being able to gain a network in
Washington, D.C., so not only with the people I was working with but being able
to also go to specific events in D.C. literally just across
the street, to consult with experts on immigration or development

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