The Heritage Foundation
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Jonathan Reich

Major: International Politics
Hometown: Rockville, Maryland
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In the summer of 2014, I received my first internship in Washington D.C. That first day, I got to Union Station early and walked around the Capitol and ended up walking by The Heritage Foundation. I went inside and asked for a brochure so I could learn more about the organization and the type of work they conducted. I became interested in the organization and throughout that summer, I went to lectures hosted by The Heritage Foundation so I could see the work they did firsthand. This was my first experience with policy think tanks and propelled my interest in policy making.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The opportunity to intern in the Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation was an incredible opportunity. When I began the internship at the beginning of the fall semester I did not know what to expect, but I did know that it was going to be a very educational experience that would allow me to gain practical work experience in U.S. foreign and domestic policies. Over the course of the semester, I worked directly with policy experts to help produce and publish several writing pieces and research projects. I spent the majority of my time focusing on the Middle East and Africa and developed a comprehensive understanding of the major problems of the regions. Most importantly, the practical knowledge I gained through this internship has not only reinforced and furthered my knowledge about policy making, but this internship experience has provided me with the proper skills and professional development I need to be successful in my future career.

...this internship experience has provided me with the proper skills and professional development I need to be successful in my future career.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This semester had been incredibly informative for me, not only as a student, but as a young professional as well. As a student, I developed the necessary skills to conduct research in a fast-paced professional environment. Through my internship, I learned the proper techniques to analyze current events in order to develop reasonable policy solutions. In school, we see and study the final product of a policy proposal, but to have the chance to witness the policy making process firsthand and gain practical knowledge of how the process works was an invaluable experience. This internship experience allowed me to integrate the knowledge and skills I learned throughout my coursework at Penn State and apply them to the workplace. The courses I took at Penn State, provided me with the foundation I needed to be successful at my internship.

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

This experience had a direct impact on my future career goals. I have always been interested in foreign affairs, public policies and politics, but I could never decide on how I wanted to pursue these interests professionally. Throughout this internship, I had the chance to meet and sit down with several professionals within The Heritage Foundation that were able to provide me with career advice so that I could get a better perspective on working for a think tank. After spending the semester in Washington D.C. and completing this internship, I am now confident that I want to pursue a career on Capitol Hill focusing on foreign policy.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, this internship was an incredible experience. The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program is second to none. It provided me with the tools and knowledge that I need to be successful in my career. The program has several field trips and events aimed at making the internship experience amazing. Washington D.C. is the political capital of the world, and having the opportunity to intern in the heart of the city was an unforgettable experience.

For more information on internships for liberal arts students, visit our website.
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