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


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Cindy Shen '21 interned at the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) during the 2019 fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

I interned at the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), an agency within the Executive Office of the President that offers the President objective economic advice for use in domestic and international policymaking. At the CEA, I primarily conducted research on topics related to healthcare and trade policy. My larger projects included studying the effects of the Affordable Care Act on un-insurance rates among people with pre-existing conditions, examining the consequences of the European Union’s proposed digital services tax, and coding in Python to aid future CEA macroeconomic research. I also had the opportunity to contribute to the Economic Report of the President, an annual report written by the CEA that delineates U.S. economic performance and the Administration’s upcoming economic priorities. 

Since much of the CEA’s research focuses on policy at the forefront of political and media attention, no day on the job ever looked the same. One minute I’d find myself drafting a memo on the opioid crisis, and the next I’d find myself hunting down the volume of dairy exports from a country I hardly knew anything about. In the classroom, a single research question can take months to develop, but at the CEA, a single Tweet could launch us into an end-of-day deadline. The quick pace of the work kept me engaged and on my toes, and has since inspired me to further consider a career in economic policy analysis. 

Not only did I get to contribute to meaningful and challenging work, but I also got to collaborate with some of the coolest and smartest people I’ve ever met. Working with leading economists and talented fellow interns pushed me to think more critically before arriving at conclusions and exposed me to new perspectives beyond what we typically hear in the sheltered town of Hanover. I had the chance to get lunch with leading economic scholars and political advisers, and I was even paired directly with a senior mentor on my first day. Most importantly, I got to meet people whom I know will be lifelong friends with. 

I am excited to apply my experiences in economic analysis and policy research to my future endeavors, and I am incredibly grateful to the Rockefeller Center for making this dream into a reality. 

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

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