Tylor Collier
Tylor Collier

After completing the rigorous Core Curriculum, Harris MPP students often say they felt better prepared to make meaningful, data-driven contributions in their summer internships. We asked a few second year MPP students to tell us about their internship experiences:

  • Tylor Collier, Summer Engagement Fellow at The Chicago Public Education Fund
  • Lindsay Hiser, Research Fellow at The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)
  • Allison Swimmer, Public Finance Investment Banking Summer Analyst at UBS

How did you secure your internship?

Collier: After seeing a listing for the Chicago Public Education Fund’s summer fellowships on HarrisLink, I applied on The Fund’s website. I communicated with the hiring manager via email to secure my interview.

Hiser: A second-year MPP student informed me about the opportunity, and I found the listing on HarrisLink and applied there. The faculty member emailed me a few weeks later to set up an interview.

Swimmer: I applied via HarrisLink and did extensive networking with current employees at UBS. I also used the finance industry videos shared by the Career Development Office’s (CDO) Finance Industry Consultant.

Lindsay Hiser
Lindsay Hiser

Tell us about a project you worked on.

Swimmer: Despite being in a finance role, I conducted a lot of research working with the transportation team to issue debt for several state and local departments of transportation. Many clients are currently focused on rising electric vehicle use: with lower gas consumption, there is less money from the gas tax available to fund transportation projects.

Collier: I aided the Fund's $25 million fundraising efforts by conducting research on high profile individuals and organizations for the Fund to approach. I also developed a tracker to house that information for future projects and strategized personalized pitch approaches for each organization. 

What was a highlight of your internship experience?

Swimmer: My highlight was the opportunity to work on a live deal for a large airport transaction that had an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) focus.

Hiser: I worked with a small research team to define the scope of a new research project. It was rewarding to collect the data and share insights that would shape the project’s next steps.

Collier: One highlight of my internship was presenting my tracker and research to the CEO. I received valuable feedback and guidance on the project and my next career steps. The CEO was grateful for my work and I was able to see the impact of my summer projects on the team.

Allison Swimmer
Allison Swimmer

In your work, how did you draw on your experience from Harris courses?

Hiser: In some ways, my fellowship felt like a practicum of my spring coursework at Harris. The Data and Programming in R course I took for the Certificate in Data Analytics was invaluable for tasks that involved cleaning and analyzing data. I also drew on the regression analysis concepts covered in Program Evaluation

Swimmer: Taking State and Local Public Finance as part of my Certificate in Municipal Finance proved really helpful. The midterm assessment for that class was to complete a credit outlook on a city of our choosing. Understanding the components of that process contributed to my daily work this summer.

Collier: I drew on research and critical thinking skills that I honed during the first year at Harris. I also used the communications skills I practiced in Harris courses, through policy memos and briefs, to convey succinct and accurate information.

To learn more about summer internship outcomes, check out our Career Outcomes Report.