Yusra Hassan: Capitol Pathways Intern at EdAllies
How did you find this internship?
I found this internship through a friend who recommended to me the Capitol Pathways program, which is a program that aims to provide BIPOC students with a paid internship in public policy. I applied to the program and answered questions about my policy area preferences and was matched with EdAllies, a nonprofit education policy organization.
What were your primary responsibilities?
My primary responsibilities were to attend education committee hearings at the capitol, attend legislator meetings with my supervisor, and to attend team meetings with the rest of the EdAllies team.
What have you learned from this internship?
I learned a lot about the legislative process and the roles of lobbyists at the capitol. I was able to see first hand the ways in which policy and policy changes greatly impact the lives of people all across the state. Additionally, I was able to gain a better understanding of the way the education system works in Minnesota.
What have been your favorite parts of this internship?
I have enjoyed the entire internship and have learned more than I had imagined. One of my favorite parts was being able to watch the Universal School Meals bill pass and seeing the behind the scenes of what goes into preparing for floor sessions with legislators and hearing all the testimonies about why this specific bill is important to Minnesotans. EdAllies had been a long time coalition member working on this issue and it was great to see the team celebrate their success.
How has POL 3080 Internship in Politics or Government enhanced your internship experience?
POL 3080 taught me about the academic side and the logic behind the different actions and legislator strategies I was seeing at the capitol but did not always fully understand. The weekly reflections allowed me to take a step back and think about all I did or saw at the internship during the week and to relate that to political science and academic writing as a way to fully reflect and comprehend my experience.
What advice would you give to other students interested in this type of internship?
I would say go for it! Going into the world of politics seems scary and complicated, but having this experience as an intern allowed me to learn from others and to be exposed to the ins and outs of the process in a way that I would not have otherwise had access to. Internships are a good way to test the waters in a career that you may want to explore.