Liberal Arts majors dominate this year’s Public Policy Internship Program
Eleven out of the thirteen interns accepted into Texas A&M’s highly competitive Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) for Fall 2012 are liberal arts majors. PPIP internships include government institutions, non-profit organizations and private companies. This year, interns have been placed in Washington, D.C. and Paris for a semester full of professional opportunities and invaluable work experience.
Interns have the opportunity to work at prestigious companies and offices within their host city, such as the White House, Hearst Corporation, the Peace Corps, the U.S. Commerce Service, and many other business and government organizations. Interns will gain valuable first-hand experience in applying the critical thinking and problem solving skills they have gained from a liberal arts education and use them in real-life situations.
Alex Yap, a communication alumnus, said of her internship with Hearst Corporation in Washington, D.C., “I’m currently trying to increase our Facebook audience, so I’m learning the best practices for reaching audiences through social media.” Yap’s other projects include writing blog pieces for The Houston Chronicle’s Texas on the Potomac series and posting to their social media accounts. On Pinterest, she created a “digital debate” board which compares how presidential candidates Obama and Romney are using Facebook to talk most effectively about issues.
PPIP also offers graduates the possibility to intern abroad in such cities as Paris, London, Brussels, and others within the European Union.
Edward Carlin, an international studies alumnus, is currently interning with the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service in Paris. International studies majors are required to learn a foreign language, and Carlin noted that as an intern in a foreign country, being fluent in French has been very beneficial.
“The time I have spent abroad has contributed immensely to my personal growth, and I am glad that [the internship] has led me to a deeper consideration of my future career,” said Carlin.
The program comes with many benefits, including free housing in Washington, D.C. and housing scholarships for other cities, transferrable academic credit, valuable resume building experience, and important networking opportunities.
“I think one of my most important goals is to learn what it’s like on the other side of the phone call,” said Yap. “I ultimately want to end up in public relations, so the biggest takeaway for me will be how to manage the conversation between PR specialists and journalists.”
PPIP was founded in 1999 by then-Texas A&M president Dr. Ray Bowen due to the increasing interest in public policy within the United States. PPIP has since expanded into an international internship program with approximately 500 successful internships across the globe.
For more information about PPIP, visit the program website at http://ppip.tamu.edu.