The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Audrey Zheng '18

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As a First-Year Fellow, I worked at the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a non-partisan federal advisory council that promotes women’s entrepreneurship in the United States by providing policy recommendations to Congress, the President, and the Small Business Administration. The NWBC serves to represent the voice and interests of women entrepreneurs in Washington DC, and does so through three core commitments: first, to conduct research on issues relevant to women business owners, second, to communicate these findings as widely and effectively as possible, and third, to provide a platform for expanding and improving opportunities for women entrepreneurs. 

Amanda Brown '08, my supervisor and mentor, gave me a list of different projects I could get involved with on the first day. I took on two research projects, on which I worked consistently throughout the summer. Taking ownership of these two projects and seeing them through, start to finish, was a huge part of my internship.

My favorite part of the First-Year Fellow experience was definitely the opportunities available to me simply being in Washington DC for the summer. I was in the Supreme Court, breathing the same air as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as Justice Anthony Kennedy announced the marriage equality decision. I went bowling at the White House. I sat in on the Senate hearing for the Iran deal. These were absolutely incredible experiences that I wouldn’t have had if I had not been in Washington DC. These also are all experiences that I needed to seek outside of just being in my office or opportunities planned by the Rockefeller Center. This summer, I learned to take initiative, to actively find cool experiences and opportunities, and to not be afraid to ask for them.

-Written by Audrey Zheng '18
This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy. 

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