Meet Penn Hill Group’s Spring interns, Shane Werner, Soraya Zrikem & Kirsten Mettler. Shane is a junior at the University of Michigan, majoring in Political Science and History. Soraya and Kirsten are returning Penn Hill Group interns. Soraya is a senior at the University of Michigan and is pursuing a double major in Philosophy, Politics & Economics and English. Kirsten is a sophomore at Stanford University and plans to major in Political Science with minors in Feminist and Gender Studies and Creative Writing.
See our interview below with Shane to learn more about him and all he brings to the Penn Hill Group team. Welcome, Shane, and welcome back, Soraya and Kirsten!
Why did you decide to spend a semester in D.C.?
Since starting college, I have been interested in policy work, especially at the federal level; therefore, I always planned on participating in the Michigan in Washington program, which gives students at the University of Michigan the opportunity to learn and work in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has made working in D.C. impossible; I still wanted the opportunity of working somewhere like Penn Hill Group and getting the great experience that comes with that.
What do you hope to do or learn during this internship?
One of my main goals for this internship is to understand better how education policy is created, advocated for, and implemented. Lobbying firms play a vital role in helping private and non-profit firms advocate for policy initiatives, and through this internship, I am hoping to both learn more about that relationship and get the opportunity to help firms achieve their policy goals. Finally, I hope to learn about the most pressing and urgent policy needs in the education sector to help inform my work moving forward.
What interests you most about education?
Having numerous family members and friends who work in education, I have heard both their compliments and complaints about how policy impacts them day to day. As a result, I am most interested in the way education policy affects our educators in the classroom. Understanding the impact policy will have in practice is critical to its success, and bettering that connection is crucial to creating effective policy.
What are some of your future goals?
Following my time as an undergraduate, I hope to pursue a law degree to facilitate my goal of working in government relations in the private sector.