Penn Students Explore Public Policy Research in Washington, DC
May 15, 2019
At the Federal Trade Commission, the students learned about how economic research supports government decision making in the merger approval process and into investigations of unfair practices. At the RAND Corporation, speakers discussed how contract research helps support the missions of Federal Agencies, specifically in health and public health policy. At the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Agency for International Development, students saw how staff respond to directives from Congress and the White House and translate those mandates into research questions. At the Congressional Research Service, staff explained the unique nature of their mission in supporting the legislative process, and how CRS reports differing by design from research coming out of more traditional think tanks and advocacy organizations.
In addition to these site visits, students had the opportunity to take in other iconic DC institutions, including a visit to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and a tour of the architecture and art of the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building. They also got the chance to converse over dinner with Penn alumni who work in public policy, learning about their experiences in the public sector and gaining advice for their own career interests. Wharton’s industry exploration program is intended to expose students to a variety of specialized industry cultures, and the Washington, DC program aims to: foster an interest in the public policy sector; help students understand the role of research in the activities of public policy agencies; and provide information that will help students prepare for careers in the public sector. To learn more about the Industry Exploration Program, visit the Undergrad Inside website.