The Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) provides students with real-world experience and hands-on learning through policy-related internships in Washington, D.C.; Austin, TX; and various European locations. PPIP internships complement and reinforce students’ coursework, give students inside knowledge about their professional future, and provide hosting organizations with additional support.
The Texas A&M University Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) was established in 1999 by Dr. Ray Bowen, then President of Texas A&M University, to respond to society’s increasing interest and participation in public policy issues and programs. Since then approximately 600 Aggies have interned in Washington, D.C.; Austin, TX and abroad. PPIP is coordinated from the office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies. This allows the program to be coordinated centrally through the colleges to provide an integrated academic and policy-related internship program for the campus and community. (From http://ppip.tamu.edu/about).
University Scholar Barbara Tsao ’17 was selected for the Summer 2016 Public Policy Internship Program. She took the time to share some thoughts about the process of applying and how this experience will help her in the future.
Where did you intern?
I interned for the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) this summer in Washington, D.C. APHSA is a nonprofit organization that represents state human service agencies across the nation and works with policymakers to promote effective policies on Capitol Hill. More specifically, I worked with the National Collaborative for Integration of Health & Human Services to track legislation regarding the Affordable Care Act.
What was the application and interview process like for PPIP?
I would say that the application process was quite comparable to the University Scholar application process. The PPIP application requires the submission of a transcript, resume, cover letter, 3 letters of recommendation, an essay covering a policy of interest, and a final interview before a panel. I have never written a cover letter before, nor have I ever asked for more than one letter of recommendation at a time. Having these experiences definitely made me more confident in my ability to craft the best possible version of myself to any organization. Overall, I believe the process was an excellent primer for admissions to any professional school.
[n.b. You can find helpful guides to writing cover letters, as well as many other important writing and speaking activities, at the University Writing Center website: http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Guides]
How will your internship fit into your long-term goals?
I am currently a senior pursuing a Biomedical Science major with Honors Fellow distinction. I possess a great passion for science, law, and ethics. As such, my future plans in academia include a J.D. and M.A. in bioethics. My ultimate goal is to pursue a career in law regarding health policy. To this end, I believe APHSA provided me with the finest opportunity available for acquiring real-world training in the exciting and ever-expanding field of health law. Working alongside policy advocates and attorneys further solidified my passion for law and the way it blends with our nation’s health policy.
The application deadline for both Spring 2017 and Summer 2017 opportunities is this Friday, September 16 at 5:00 PM. For more information about the Public Policy Internship Program or to complete your application, visit http://ppip.tamu.edu.
To discover other enriching experiences available to undergraduates at Texas A&M, visit Undergraduate Studies at http://us.tamu.edu.