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

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: ISABELLA DUNBAR '23

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Isabella Dunbar '23 interned at the Brookings Institution during the 2020 fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This fall, I interned with the Brookings Institution. Brookings is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank located in Washington D.C. with the mission of conducting “in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.” Their robust research is known for providing valuable input in the policy sphere while remaining integrally independent and solution focused. Much like an academic institution, Brookings is organized into different programs and centers that each focus on different policy areas; namely, the program areas are Economic Studies, Governance Studies, Metropolitan Policy, Foreign Policy, and Global Economy and Development. Within these programs there are300+ leading experts who have ahigh level of independence to conduct research, but frequently collaborate. For my internship, I worked solely in the Economic Studies program (ES), within the Center on Regulation and Markets.

For my work, I attended many virtual events led by economic experts on a wide range of pressing topics such as the economic inefficiency of current cannabis regulation to the financial implications of overdraft fees. I also contributed to Economic Studies Fellow Aaron Klein’s blogposts, articles, and in-depth research on economic policy intricacies. Though I worked on various projects, there was one that was especially beneficial. I crafted a thoroughly researched commentary submission in response to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking (ANPR) for new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation changes. This stretched my writing and research skills, from its conception all the way through to the polishing stage.

Now that the internship has ended, I am eager to apply all that I learned to my coursework and future career. Through my experience, I was able to hear about the career paths of countless accomplished individuals and I was surprised by just how heterogenous their paths were. Even within the same fields, there was so much variety in how scholars came to work at Brookings. This made me re-evaluate how I view my own future. I have decided to major in economics, which will allow me to directly apply the knowledge I gained at Brookings on macroeconomic analysis. Furthermore, I will be minoring in Public Policy, so the strengthened understanding policy in action will help me meaningfully contribute to course discussions on similar problems. I am interested in pursuing a career in international development or national security, both of which will benefit from the networking and leadership skills I gained throughout the course of this internship.

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.

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