Christine was a second-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Marine Biology, when she completed her internship.
“It was also amazing how we all came from different backgrounds and sometimes had differing opinions, but the community was so respectful and everyone’s voice was heard."
Why did you choose to intern with the Cooper Center, Sorensen Institute?
I was really drawn by Sorensen’s mission of ethics in public service, the understanding of policy issues, and especially the power of bipartisan cooperation. Accessing the Sorensen alumni was also a huge perk. I was actually kind of intimidated at the thought of engaging with some of these alumni and key Commonwealth policymakers, but I’m so happy that it didn’t stop me from applying because I’ve learned so much from those conversations and I'm also a part of the Sorensen community now!
What was your favorite part of participating in this internship?
My favorite part was definitely meeting all of the different people throughout the internship and building connections with them. From the other interns in my cohort (we’re all still in touch and we had a picnic on the Lawn together before restrictions got stricter), to Larry and Lauren, to the guest speakers we had, it was just such a wonderful group of people. Everyone was so kind and intelligent; I learned so much from them. It was also amazing how we all came from different backgrounds and sometimes had differing opinions, but the community was so respectful and everyone’s voice was heard. I think this definitely highlights the strengths of the Sorensen Institute and how successful it has been in its mission of promoting cooperation.
What did you learn as a result of this internship?
I learned how to write a policy memo! It was very different from the business memos I’m used to writing in the Comm school, but with the help of Larry and my partner, Roark Corson, it turned out well. I also learned a lot more about Virginia's state history and policy. We went really in-depth on certain crises that affected Virginia in the past two decades, learning about how they were managed and what are best leadership practices for those situations.
Would you recommend the 22nd Century Scholars Program to future students?