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

Notes from the Field: Asher Mayerson '15

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Rockefeller Center-funded interns reflect on their experiences as part of our Notes from the Field series. The Rockefeller Center helps students find, fund, and prepare for a leave-term internship experience in public policy research, public policy analysis, issue evaluation, or activities which help shape and determine public policy.

Student Intern: Asher Mayerson ’15

Internship Organization:
The White House

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization?
At the White House, my portfolio focused on Jewish and international outreach surrounding foreign policy issues as well as immigration outreach. My responsibilities included staffing events, helping to organize briefings, writing talking points, and maintaining correspondence with the constituencies in my portfolio.

How did you feel on the first day of your internship?
The first day was exciting but overwhelming. I was eager to get to work, serving the country by advancing the agenda of the President. At the same time, I was lost and unaware of how I could best contribute to my office.

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
A important lesson from my childhood is the value of public service. Through this internship, I was able to dedicate my Fall Term to improving the lives of real people, which proved incredibly fulfilling and reaffirmed my commitment to pursuing a career in public service.

What challenges have you faced so far?
Managing the different tasks, supervisors, and elements of my portfolio could be difficult. Generally, I responded to this challenge by creating to-do lists, which helps me keep track of everything that needs to get done.

Broadly speaking, what do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
A key priority for me was building relationships with White House staff. I felt that I established real relationships with the people around me, and I hope to keep in touch with them over the coming months and years.

What have been some practical lessons you've learned in the day-to-day life of your internship?
I particularly enjoy getting to work early because it allows me to get ahead of the day. Also, I generally produce my best work in the morning. More broadly, I think I’ve learned the importance of knowing how and when you work best.

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