Why are you interested in Public Policy?
Makeshift homes of canvas dotted the landscape as my train passed through the outskirts of San Jose, California during my daily commute to my internship at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, one of the Bay Area’s leading trade associations. Minutes later I found myself in Mountain View, and the poverty in my window was replaced with opulence — Teslas and Porsches parked along tree-lined avenues. Seeing this night-and-day juxtaposition so frequently, my high school self couldn’t help but wonder how such stark inequality could be just and whether political decisions were alleviating or worsening it.
I wanted to join PPRS because I was eager to discuss policy in smaller group settings, as opposed to lectures, with like-minded, passionate peers who would challenge me. I hoped to find people who want to debate and have conversations about legislation on the floor, rather than simply denouncing the party supporting it. I knew that only through these discussions would I begin to grasp the social, economic, and political complexities of public policy to hopefully reform future legislation, wherever that may be. While education provides the foundation, public service does not stop there. Through internships on the Hill and the program’s capstone course, I wanted to be pushed to apply my classroom learning into positive, substantive change.