This summer students were scattered around the country and across the globe getting first-hand professional experience during their summer internships. Students are sharing their experiences through InternGrams, a recap of the what, where, and wow of their experiences.
Name: Maximillian Grahl BA ‘21
Organization: Department of Transportation - FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
Location: Washington D.C.
Career aspirations: I aspire to work as a policy aide and expert in education policy and urban policy. In addition, I would like to work in state or local politics.
I was able to work with the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for eight weeks and hone my skills in a professional environment, as well as gain insight into the career path of a Federal employee. The FMCSA is the government agency responsible for regulating large trucks and busses to ensure safety and compliance.
In my time at the FMCSA, I became educated on the pressing policy issues facing the motor carrier industry, including hours of service and electronic logging of hours. I was able to assist my supervisor in analyzing a data set of carriers that were not compliant with safety regulations in an effort to reach out to them and aid the mission of highway safety. Another task I accomplished was building a comprehensive recruitment guide for the FMCSA to hire recent graduates and veterans in areas with vacancies. I worked with my supervisor to update the language of imperative safety regulations, draft memos to the Administrator, and correspond with the hundreds of FMCSA employees in the Field across the country.
I enjoyed feeling valued at work and gaining my supervisor’s trust and approval to take on many projects throughout the eight weeks. It was nice to work on regulation that directly impacted so many stakeholders throughout the country, as I felt like I was making a positive difference and truly fulfilling the role of a public servant. I saw the distribution of costs and benefits on these stakeholders firsthand, and the critical thinking necessary to policymaking. A meaningful and impactful portion was visiting a weigh station in Maryland with my office to meet some of the stakeholders that the FMCSA interacts with, including truck drivers and state troopers.
Perhaps most importantly, my internship solidified that I would most like to work in rulemaking and regulation, assessing and addressing the needs of the public at a Federal agency or on the local or state level. I thoroughly enjoyed coming to work each day, as well as the lessons the workplace taught me such as timeliness, respect, networking, and proper communication.