MoPA Internship in Washington, D.C.


Sarah Souza
Master of Public Affairs candidate ’17

As a candidate in the Master of Public Affairs program (MoPA), I am spending the summer completing my internship requirement in Washington, D.C. for theGROUP, an independent strategy, policy and communications firm. The supportive environment on campus helped me find this incredible opportunity. And, the hands-on internship requirement not only allows me to put into practice what I learned in the classroom, but it also gives me the chance to experience living in our nation’s capital!

After one year at MoPA, I felt confident and prepared to work at a prestigious firm. Courses such as Writing for Public Affairs and Research Methods honed my communication and analysis skills – pertinent to this internship. MoPA’s electives allow me to tailor my educational career to my interests and makes me a better intern because I have experience in several fields. Rigorous coursework with experienced professors, such as Ed Harrington teaching Urban Public Finance and Kathleen Koll teaching Immigrant Cities, replicated what the real world is like in public service by combining academia with practicality.

Interning for theGROUP contributes to my professional growth and has its perks! 13442133_584053988433798_8794159872060657431_nI attended a Women’s Leadership Training on Capitol Hill (sponsored by John Trasvina, USF’s Dean of Law School) and the Tri-Caucus event hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the James Madison Memorial Building. I also toured the West Wing and saw the Oval Office – a moment that made me pause to reflect on the importance of public service and ethical leadership that works toward the common good.

Working and living in DC is amazing and filled with unforgettable experiences. I can’t wait to transfer the skills I’ve gained from my internship and apply them to the classroom when I continue my MoPA education with Quantitative Research, Lobbying, Advocacy and Governmental Relations and the Politics of Land Use courses. MoPA is providing me with the tools to succeed and preparing me for a successful career in public service.

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