We heard from three Master of Public Policy (MPP) students from the Class of 2021—Steven Gingold, Fumike Agboola, and Edem Isliamov—about the internships they had this past summer.  They told us about their summer projects, how their first year at Harris prepared them for the work that they did, and how their internships will propel their future careers in public policy. 

This blog post is the first of our series on student internship experiences. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts.

Tell us about a major project you worked on this summer.

Steven Gingold - South Side Housing Data Initiative

I helped produce a slide deck for a presentation of South Side Housing Data Initiative's Washington Park report to community members, local politicians and their representatives, and community stakeholders. I distilled information from the report down to bullet points and produced a number of data visualizations using R to make the deck more dynamic.

Fumike Agboola - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

I wrote a research white paper about the agricultural productivity gap for women in Sub-Saharan Africa. My research focused on the need for more access to money and land, and drew attention to obstacles that women face, including unpaid labor and social discrimination.

Edem Isliamov - Institute for the Study of War

I worked on a project to analyze the Russian Foreign Policy agenda and its influence on the United States. I researched the possible directions in which the Russian war with Ukraine can move in the future, particularly working on publications regarding the Kremlin use of military training to cover the expansion to other countries such as Belarus and Ukraine.

How did this internship relate to the work you did during your first year at Harris?

Steven Gingold

In my first year at Harris, I became interested in municipal finance and local development and this internship taught me more about those two issues. Also, the data aspect of the internship relates to things I learned in Stats and in Data and Programming I.

Fumike Agboola

Although my work was writing focused, the understanding of microeconomics, statistics, and game theory that I developed at Harris helped me understand the resources I was using to support my arguments and write better analyses.

Edem Isliamov

The conferences that Harris conducted during the 2020 year were of great help to me during my work. For example, the opportunity to speak with Congressman Robert Hurt from Virginia during his visit to the University of Chicago helped me with understanding the Republican attitude towards Turkish foreign policy in Syria.

How will this internship help you with your future career in Public Policy?

Steven Gingold

This internship has taught me a lot about the thorny question of community development versus community affordability. It also taught me that my first and most important job in public policy is to prioritize the views, opinions, and desires of the people who will be affected by policies that I am working to develop. 

Fumike Agboola

My goal is to work for a think tank or large organization and lead conversations related to economic equity and social justice. My internship expereince solidified my interest in policy analysis research and writing.

Edem Isliamov

My internship equipped me with technical tools for international policy analysis that I will continue to use in my career. I plan to continue working in US think tanks, such as ISW and Brookings, that shape US policy response to the actions of other countries.