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

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: MIA SEYMOUR '23

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Mia Seymour '23 interned at the Brookings Institution during the 2021 winter term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This winter, I was a research intern in the Economic Studies Department in the Center on Regulation and Markets at the Brookings Institution. I worked under the supervision of Aaron Klein, a Dartmouth graduate and Senior Fellow. In my role, I was able to work closely with Aaron and his research assistants (RAs), collaborating both on research and the writing process. I assisted on a report on Covid-19’s impact on the Hispanic workforce, an op-ed on overdraft fees in small banks, and updating a book chapter on the Chinese digital payments system. Further, I was responsible for attending and covering events to provide succinct summaries and notes for Aaron and/or his colleagues. Finally, I helped with day-to-day tasks, such as organizing conferences, updating contact lists, and maintaining certain files and records. 

Throughout the internship, I learned an incredible amount about our financial system, such as the racial and climate implications of certain policies and programs and the institutional financial barriers that minority populations face. Starting out, I hoped to gain research skills and experience in this role. My research was dimensional--examining the banking system both at a macro and micro level, the effectiveness of a real-time payments system, and the future of digital currencies. I enjoyed all of our projects; in particular, I found the data on bank overdrafts to be disturbing yet interesting to analyze. We then used this data in the op-ed. Feeling like I was actually contributing to meaningful work through my research was a very motivating experience. 

The connections I made with fellow interns, RAs, and even personnel at meetings and events – whether it be business CEOs or top researchers – were impactful. I learned something from everyone I met; for example, the RAs were helpful in talking about navigating post-college life, sharing how they made their way to Brookings and what applying to grad schools is like. Connecting with Brookings members showed me how to develop professional relationships in which I was comfortable asking questions to see how different departments work. Another valuable part of my internship was the professional relationship I developed with my supervisor. Aaron was incredibly helpful in providing feedback on my written work, answering questions about Brookings, and sharing his own career advice. He was keen to include me on phone interviews with reporters and make me feel like I was in D.C. despite everything being remote. 

Seeing the collaborative writing process between fellows, sitting in on internal meetings, hearing policy debated at conferences, and ultimately having an inside look at Aaron’s job was priceless. My experiences at Brookings reinforced my interest in economics but a new lens to approach coursework. I don’t know what my future holds, but I really enjoyed the research aspect of this internship and want to try to pursue economic research at Dartmouth. I am very grateful for my term at Brookings and am eager to apply what I learned to my academic and professional future.

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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