90-Second Stories: Emily Zhen
November 06, 2015
The Wharton PPI Summer Internship Program offers financial and programmatic support to Penn students who intern in Washington, DC. 90-Second Stories is a series of videos featuring interns talking about their experiences in DC. Emily Zhen kicks off this year’s video series with her account of interning at the Treasury.
Emily Zhen (C’18 W’18) interned at the U.S. Department of Treasury in the Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Improvement (OSPPI) this past summer. Housed under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Management, the office strives to improve Treasury operations in three areas: organizational performance management, consultative services, and continuous process improvement.
Interning with the OSPPI team allowed Emily the opportunity to delve deeply into these three areas of the office and gain diverse learning experiences. “The most memorable accomplishment of this summer was carrying out my own project: developing recommendations to improve Treasury’s performance data quality.” Emily also assisted in the re-design of the Treasury employee off-boarding process in a cross-functional team in addition to advising the Secretary of the Treasury on the new design of the ten-dollar bill.
Not only did Emily have a fruitful internship experience, she discovered how to better integrate her interests in healthcare policy and management. While in DC, she was inspired to study more policy and applied to the Public Policy Research Scholars (PPRS) program, an honors program offered through Penn Wharton PPI. Emily is currently a member of the PPRS inaugural class of 2018.
Outside of her internship, Emily was able to attend many Penn in Washington and Wharton PPI events as well as meet Penn alumni. For instance, Emily had the chance to speak with the Senior Advisor to Obama, Valerie Jarrett, on the Affordable Care Act about the drafting of the ACA and her current work in the private sector for Johnson and Johnson. It was these types of intimate conversations that informed Emily’s understanding of the mobility between the private and public sectors and encouraged her aspirations to have a similar career path: one that bridges the private health care management industry with work in public policy in order to have the greatest impact on making legislative and industry changes.