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

Rocky and Me: Lauren Bishop '19 Senior Reflection

Lauren Bishop, class of 2019, graduates this spring having studied History and Public Policy. 

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In the Rocky & Me series, Seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

Lauren Bishop, a senior from Jacksonville, Florida, has studied History and Public Policy as an undergrad. She came to Dartmouth with an interest in the social sciences and their applicability to policymaking, so the public policy minor was a natural fit for her. Writing and Speaking Public Policy with Professor Kalish was one of Lauren’s first classes that allowed her to practice her research and analytical skills while at the same creating an actionable plan on a topic of interest. This and other public policy courses, such as Law, Courts, and Judges with Professor Nachlis, allowed her to learn theory and understand how change is made in practice and what barriers exist in the policymaking process.

During her four years, Lauren took advantage of numerous opportunities to get involved with policy and international affairs outside of the classroom. She studied abroad first in St. Petersburg, Russia with the Russian Department and later in London, UK with the History Department. Lauren was a War and Peace Fellow through the Dickey Center, which allowed her to work with high-level policymakers in Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Department. She traveled to Finland to attend the Model Arctic Council and worked closely on research to provide new ideas on prospective Arctic policy changes.

When looking back at her time here at Dartmouth, Lauren credits her off-campus experiences as impactful and critical to helping her discover her passions and interests. During her sophomore fall, Lauren participated in a funded internship in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence, which changed her view on the connection the federal government has with constituents. She specifically found it rewarding to help select ten letters for President Obama to read daily. Throughout the internship, she became inspired by the office’s drive to make change happen.

Lauren had the opportunity to work at the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs during her junior year where she was able to pursue her passion for international affairs while strengthening her leadership skills by helping plan a national conference (on other side of the world!). The opportunity to meet ambassadors and work in a new environment helped instill her passion for international affairs.

The following summer she worked in a legal aid clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Her experience in Jacksonville further opened her eyes to reality of disparities in the Florida judicial system as she was able to work with clients pursuing justice in civil court. With an interest in pursuing a career related to law, Lauren found this off-campus experience to be one of the most informative ones she had.

Something invaluable to a Dartmouth student is the relationships they form with faculty and staff. For Lauren, this has been something crucial to her undergraduate experience. Specifically, at the Rockefeller Center, Lauren has found herself grow personally and professionally participating in the Management and Leadership Development Program, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, and working as Student Program Assistant for Internships and for Public Programs. One staff member, Joanne Needham, Program Officer for Public and Special Events, stands out as someone who helped shape Lauren’s perspectives and aspirations. Lauren met Joanne two years ago and now considers Joanne as a mentor, calling her one of the nicest, genuine, and brilliant persons she has met on Dartmouth’s campus.

In offering advice to incoming students, Lauren encourages them to not be so rigid with career goals. Travel as much as possible, get out of one’s comfort zone, and learn to adapt.

“Don’t ever think you are underqualified for an opportunity that interests you,” says Lauren. “There are so many resources at Dartmouth to help you explore and grow—take advantage of them!”

As told to Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications

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