We heard from three Master of Public Policy (MPP) students from the class of 2021—Julia Friedberg, James Miotto, and Varada Shrotri—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 part of our series on student internship experiences. Read our previous post.

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

Julia Friedberg – Resilient Cities Network

I was involved in organizing and planning the launch of a coalition of city leaders who are taking bold policy actions that advance racial equity, such as declaring racism to be a public health emergency.

James Miotto - Sara Gideon for Maine

I helped develop a spreadsheet of validators for Sara Gideon’s campaign for U.S. Senate—Mainers with certain backgrounds (lobster industry, logging industry, farmers, healthcare professionals, etc.) who were willing to publicly support the campaign through letters to the editor, TV and social media ads, and roundtables.

Varada Shrotri – World Bank

I worked on creating a survey that will be administered in Tunisia for a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that aims to understand the impact of providing women with cash grants to start their own businesses. I also worked on programming the survey using Survey CTO software.

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

Julia Friedberg

My internship was a reminder that policy goes beyond theory—I was working with city leaders who faced political challenges and had to deal with nuances of city governments when creating policy. Our Analytical Politics courses came in handy here in thinking about different political actors and their motivations.

James Miotto

My work in my first year at Harris taught me to look deeply at potential policy solutions that could create social impact. In contrast, my work on the Sara Gideon campaign helped me understand the importance of convincing people that your solution is the right one. Through this internship, I feel I have truly grown my ability to turn policy ideas into reality.

Varada Shrotri

This internship was very close to what I studied in Program Evaluation and in my statistics classes. I used the extensive methods of randomized controlled trials, difference-in-difference, regression discontinuity, and panel data concepts to understand the work that I would be doing.

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

Julia Friedberg

I previously worked in the private sector, so working with the Resilient Cities Network was great in beginning to build out my policy network. I will definitely be staying in touch and plan to continue attending a weekly meeting on racial equity.

James Miotto

Although I don't think that a career solely in campaigns is in my future, my time with the Gideon campaign taught me a lot about “selling” policies (and the candidates who propose policies) in a way that I wouldn't have learned about anywhere other than a campaign.

Varada Shrotri

This internship helped me develop and further my quantitative and qualitative skills as well as provided me with a direction for my policy focus. I hope to work in a policy think tank and The World Bank is a great place to start.