Five MPP students reflect on their experiences working with Internship Search Groups and how the commitment of the groups kept them accountable to do the work required to successfully find a summer internship.
Kari Rea: I joined the Internship Search Group because I really wanted an accountability mechanism built into my internship search process.
Tanvangi Tiwari: My biggest problem in life is accountability. I knew that if I did not have a formal structure to keep me in check, I would not get the internship work done.
Jonathan Rodriguez: The main driver for participating in in the internship group is accountability. With all the different classes and activities going on, it’s very easy to sort of put off something that seems so far away until much later.
At the end of every meeting, we would outline our goals for the next week, and at the next week’s meeting we would go around the room and see how we made progress on those goals.
I also gained something that I didn’t expect, which was sort of a sense of comradery and a lightness to the internship search. It was great to be with a group of fellow Fordies just bonding over the internship search experience. We met early Wednesday mornings and it was just a nice relief to be able to laugh about some of the experiences that we were going through and the different stresses that we were experiencing.
Kari: Working with my classmates through this process was a huge benefit. It was helpful to just hear what people were experiencing and be able to say, “hey, I’m experiencing that, too.”
Selene Ceja: It’s an opportunity to learn more about what my classmates are interested in and why. Why are they in policy school? Why are they at Ford? To create a deeper connection beyond everyday class.
David Sernick: Working with my peers was a special experience and it’s something that I didn’t expect to come out of the search group. I think actually spending this time really reinforces the idea that everyone’s on a different path, everyone’s in a different place, and it makes you feel more confident in your own uniqueness.
At the top of each search group, we would spend a moment doing a centering practice that was lead by Jennifer. We would take a moment, we would focus ourselves so that we got rid of the clutter (there’s much clutter in grad school), and we focused on the task in front of us, and we focused on who we are and what we bring to the plate, as a moment to just find my breath, find myself, and then focus on the thing that I’m doing in that moment.
Kari: This process actually really helped with time management in my opinion. It was an hour a week, and it made sure that we had goals achieved in a certain time-frame, we knew that it was happening at the same time every week, and it really helped you figure out, “how do i schedule this in my time,” and also, “how do I make sure I get the things done beforehand that need to be done.”
Jonathan: One of the skills that is highlighted in the internship group is setting aside protected time to devote to internship searching. I would block off midday on Fridays to just devote to the internship search. That was a really good way to protect that time for the search and not have competing priorities with classes and group work and things like that encroaching on it.
Tanvangi: Just that one hour of commitment was very essential in that everything progressed from there. Even though I was not the most productive in that one hour, I was at least doing something. By the end of the Internship Search Group, I was already interviewing with organizations. I ended up interviewing with several organizations and finally accepting an organization that I was comfortable working with and that was happy to have me. So that just worked out perfectly for me.
Kari: I highly, highly, highly recommend the Internship Search Group. GCS is incredible, you should take advantage of their expertise while you’re here, and this is just one of the many ways that you can do that.
Tanvangi: Overall, it was a great search group. I had some of the best people working with me and helping me grow, and I would not have made it this far if I did not have the sort of perspective that I got from the people I was working with in the search group.