A rising junior and a member of the Public Policy Research Scholars, Alexa Breyfogle (W’20) is spending her summer at the Securities and Trade Commission, keeping things on the up-and-up in the Compliance Department. “I’m doing risk analysis,” she tells us, “which includes doing background research on exam subjects, as well as looking into municipal advisory regulations and how that develops.” When not at work, Alexa is tells us about enjoying some of the city’s more iconic moments, and always keeping a connection to home.
What areas of public policy interest you?
As a member of the Public Policy Research Scholars, my main focus is on trade. I really like the intersection between international relations and economics, and the nuances of how trade policy happens. I’m also interested in things like criminal justice and gender equity, but my main focus is trade.
What is the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?
I’ve become close with all of my fellow SEC interns over the summer, so we usually check in with each other about the previous evening and just try to get ready for the day.
What does a typical day in DC look like for you?
It’s a typical 9 to 5 at the SEC. There’s not really a specific schedule for the day. It really depends on whatever my supervisor has planned, whether that’s doing research on the background of certain rules, or working on other, different projects. I usually head home after work. I’m living with a group of other Penn interns, so we will catch up with each other about our days, get some dinner, and get done whatever we need to do for the next day.
Have there been any surprises regarding living and working as an intern in DC?
People are everywhere! The city is flooded with new people constantly. I ran into someone I went to high school with on the street, which was weird since I’m from Kansas. The city is really interesting because everyone here is doing work that, in one way or the other, helps run the country, so there’s an energy to DC that I really like.
Name one object that you brought with you to DC that reflects your personality.
It’s not really DC specific, but I have a necklace I wear almost every day that has the coordinates of my home on it. I ordered it when I was homesick my freshman year, and it reminds me of my home and family. It’s kind of a nice reminder of where I come from.
In 30 years, what will you remember about living and working in DC?
This might be a cheesy answer, but I’ll remember standing on the National Mall on the Fourth of July with all those people, watching the fireworks and celebrating our country.