Master of Public Policy Internship
Joi Sullivan practices for her next career. An
internship at Parsons Corp. provided real-world
application of public policy skills.
— Joi Sullivan, MPP ‘16
Last summer I interned for Parsons Corp. in Washington, D.C. Parsons is a medium-sized government contractor that emphasizes developing infrastructure both within and outside the U.S. I worked directly for the company’s vice president for government relations, who also serves as the company’s lobbyist. My responsibilities included researching legislation and corresponding with various members of Congress to ensure the office was properly prepared for any related future meetings and events. Additionally, a fellow intern and I were tasked with creating a matrix that the company’s PAC would use to make decisions regarding campaign donations. To meet this need, I oversaw the development of a software- based Web application that measured how “valuable” each member of Congress was to the company. This application provided a priority list that was based on several equations we developed, one for each business unit within the company. This project, called ConDAT, effectively consumed the majority of my time over the summer.
Other highlights of working in Washington, D.C., included attending meetings and events with my boss and meeting Senator Tester of Montana and Senator Hirono of Hawaii. I also attended numerous events hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Furthermore, seeing such incredible architecture and symbols of our nation’s history every day was an unbelievable experience.
Working for Parsons was a unique experience because I got a taste of what working for a private company was like versus working for the federal government. Developing the Web application ConDAT was one of my favorite parts of my job, as it presented numerous challenges and demonstrated how my classes in the Master of Public Policy program are preparing me for a career. The greatest part of my summer was being in the midst of the people who work to make our nation run well and being able to discuss ideas regarding the fundamental principles our nation was founded on. It truly was an experience unlike any I have had before.