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

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: SANA NADKARNI '22

Sana Nadkarni '22

Sana Nadkarni '22 interns at the American Enterprise Institute during the 2019 summer term.

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Sana Nadkarni '22 interned at the American Enterprise Institute during the 2019 summer term. 

The summer after my first year at Dartmouth I had the incredible opportunity to intern at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington DC’s leading think tank whose mission advances free markets, human potential, and a competition of ideas. My important and fulfilling work in the Development Department gave me valuable insights into how a think tank is run. I researched several top and prospective donors through Salesforce, assembled strategic documents for various receptions to be presented in advance to the department and President of AEI, and wrote summaries of AEI public events for our exclusive Enterprise Club. The hours I spent in the Rauner Special Collections Library for Professor Dobson’s Writing 5 class helped me when I had to analyze archival sources to compile and endowment history for a foundation report on the Burns Chair in Law and Financial Policy.

A long-term project that defined my experience was the think tank comparative analysis project and presentation to the heads of the department. Over the course of two months, I analyzed 13 different think tanks on a variety of metrics: financial, social media, and organizational. I took the initiative to interface with competitor think tanks like Carnegie and Brookings to assist in the research phase of the project. Learning how to analyze the financial data – Form 990s (the nonprofit equivalent to a 10-K), Audited Financials, and Annual Reports – from our head of finance accounting was a wonderful experience. 

Furthermore, I was selected to study democratic capitalism under the director of economic policy, Dr. Michael Strain. I got to engage with senior officials in economic policy, such as Chair Kevin Hassett of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. With my peers I debated inequality, minimum wage, and tech privacy. My class with Professor Rose, ECON 22, gave me the background to be a valued member in these discussions. Economics was enthralling at AEI, since it served as an epicenter for free market policy in DC. My intellectual spark for economics that brought me to Dartmouth is even more strengthened, and I am excited for my fall class ECON 70, an Applied Macroeconomic Policy Immersion, with Professor Rose and Irwin (a former AEI fellow), which includes travel to Argentina and Chile. I hope to learn the tools to conduct research in economics as well. My exposure to the macro environment, financial statement analysis, and financial policy strengthened my interests; I will be working at a hedge fund in New York City my sophomore year.

Thus, I am grateful for AEI’s support. In addition to designating me as the recipient of the AEI Inaugural Intern Scholarship, every interaction I had with AEI showed that the cared about my intellectual and professional development, especially with my intern supervisors Abby and Emma, intern coordinators Jane and Natalie, and my brilliant fellow interns who have become lifelong friends. I could not be happier with my internship experience. It has always been a dream to work at a think tank, and now I can say that I have actually played a small role in running one. It has been a truly memorable and amazing summer. Thank you, Rockefeller Center, for your support. I hope to help advance the mission of the Rockefeller Center and of experiential learning in any way possible in my coming years at Dartmouth and beyond. 

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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