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Internship: Bureau of Consumer Protection
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Emily

Major: Political Science/History
Minor: None
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through my Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor. She works at the Bureau of the Consumer Protection and suggested that I apply for an internship position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My job as an intern involved me helping out the agents and attorneys that worked at the Bureau of Consumer Protection to the best of my ability. Most of the work I did involved me doing tasks that made life a little easier for the agents and attorneys. Daily, I summarized consumer complaints, conducted research on various businesses and individuals, organized documents to be used in court for the attorneys, called consumers and businesses asking questions about any conflicts, and filed away older consumer complaints. By completing all of these tasks, I was able to gain a knowledge about consumer law as well as business law within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Throughout my time at Penn State as a Political Science major, I have learned a lot about government agencies and how state governments specifically work. I enjoyed work at the Bureau because I was able to see first hand what life is like working for a state government agency. The experiences I had interacting with attorneys, businesses, and citizens taught me how government really effects people's daily lives, which is something you cannot learn in the classroom. I also learned a lot about Pennsylvania's criminal, consumer, and business law. In addition, I now understand more clearly civil procedure and civil law within the court systems.

I would recommend this experience to fellow Liberal Arts students because, I believe that it showed what government agencies and bureaucracy is all about.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to one day become a lawyer. Another career goal of mine is to work for the government. Because the Bureau of Consumer Protection staffed a few attorneys, I was able to talk to them specifically about their careers as a lawyer, as well as their experiences working for the government. I learned a lot about what life is like for an attorney, and how the occupation can be much more relaxed in a government setting as opposed to a "big firm" private practice setting. I liked the work that the attorneys at the Bureau did, and I look forward to practicing law eventually. After my internship experience, I still believe I want to become a lawyer, but I am not sure I would like to work in government.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to fellow Liberal Arts students because, I believe that it showed what government agencies and bureaucracy is all about. While we learn about government in class, it is very interesting to see where exactly our tax payer dollars are going. Any student interested in state politics or government should apply for this internship.

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