Notes from the Field: Steven Jiang '19

Steven Jiang '19 interned at the Cabinet Relations department of the Massachusetts State House during the 2016 Summer Term. The following is an excerpt from his internship report.

During the summer of 2016, I interned in the Cabinet Relations department of the Massachusetts State House. The goal of the Cabinet Relations department is to work with the secretariats to research best-practices in government and develop policy to promote the agenda of the Governor and Lt. Governor. During my time there, I was assigned to two projects: 1) researching prison hospice programs in other states and determining the feasibility of having one in Massachusetts and 2) researching modular construction and how the state can promote manufacturers to build a modular building factory in Western Massachusetts.

Over the course of my internship I learned a variety of valuable and translatable skills that I will be able apply in my future internships and jobs. I became familiar with using research databases, writing memos, creating PowerPoint presentations, and learning how to summarize my progress and findings upon request. Each week, I attended weekly team meetings and discussed progress I had made, challenges I was facing, and goals for the next week.  At the end of my internship, I was given the opportunity to present my research to the Undersecretary of Housing and Economic Development.

Looking back on my internship, I had numerous positive experiences. The one that stands out most in my mind was on my second day of work, when I travelled out to Western Massachusetts with my supervisor, to sit in on a public cabinet meeting. During the drive there, I learned that he had attended Princeton and decided to work in public policy after an internship with his home state's senator. Sitting in on the cabinet meeting with the governor and all of his secretariats was particularly inspiring. After the cabinet meeting, my supervisor took me out to lunch and we toured the Quabbin Reservoir, which provides water for most of the state. This day was significant to me because my supervisor made the effort to spend the entire day with me and get to know me.

Before this internship, I participated in D-LAB and RPMP. I feel that the skills I learned in D-LAB, such as engaging in thought-provoking discussions in a group and recognizing my personal values helped me during my internship. During the weekly team meetings, I was able to articulate the challenges that I was facing and understand why I was having those challenges. The networking skills I learned in RPMP also proved to be useful when I attended talks and conferences where I was usually the youngest one there. All in all, I found the skills I learned from participating in the Rockefeller Center programs to be very translatable into my internship and the real world.