Dean Barton headshot

Dean interned for the Virginia Municipal League, assisting with a range of research projects from budget uncertainty to cannabis legislation. 

“This internship solidified my personal ideology that public service is the most direct way to create a positive influence. It also strengthened my desire to pursue public service in the future."

Dean Barton

Virginia Municipal League

Dean was a third-year undergraduate student studying Economics when he completed this internship.

Why did you choose the Wallerstein Scholars Program?

I was interested in engaging in public service. I have always been interested in public policy, and the Wallerstein Scholars Program gave a direct pathway to do this.

What projects did you work on as a Wallerstein Scholar?

During my time at the Virginia Municipal League, I was tasked with research projects ranging from budget uncertainty to cannabis legislation. I wrote article-style works on the possible effects of legislation passing through the General Assembly. Much of my work consisted of consolidating large amounts of policy/legislation into a more digestible form, whether article or spreadsheet.

What was your favorite part of the internship?

I enjoyed feeling in the loop. In order to adequately do my job, I had to follow the news intently. This is something I always strive to do, but became a necessity at my position. It was very interesting to watch as legislation developed, and was awesome to be able to apply the knowledge I have from my major to these policies.

What did you learn as a result of this internship?

Living so close to the nation’s capital, most of my focus was directed towards functions at the federal level. However, working for VML gave me insight into the world of local government. I was able to gather first-hand experience with local legislation, as well as functions on a state level. I was also able to apply economic principles to a local level, which was very exciting.


Would you recommend the Wallerstein Scholars Program to future students?

Absolutely! This program allowed me to dive into a field I wanted to explore, and learn a lot. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in public service!