Can you tell our students a little bit about yourself?  

I am a Senior at the O’Neill School studying Policy Analysis, and I will be graduating in May of 2024. I have worked numerous customer service jobs. From local government to retail to the restaurant industry, I have gained a lot of experience in different customer-facing roles. However, I found that my experience was lacking in professional settings and the nonprofit and advocacy sectors. I applied to internships with this in mind and found that NORML was a great place to grow these skills and learn what working remotely entails. My coursework has been focused on policy reports and analyzing documents; it was extremely helpful to apply these skills to real reports that people will read. 

What about this organization made you compelled to intern for them? 

I was excited to work at a well-established advocacy group based in Washington D.C., because I often see NORML cited for statistics when researching state policies. Initially I was hesitant to pursue a fully remote position, because I wanted more experience in a professional office. However, I had not previously worked in a remote or hybrid position and thought this would grow my skills in another way. I am glad I chose to intern at NORML because I have grown my experience in a non-customer facing role, and I now have a professional background in advocacy. I always felt motivated to complete my work because I could see how it shaped efforts to change policies and grow political knowledge among Americans. 

What skills are most important in your role? 

Communication and attention to detail were the skills I used most in this role. Communication was important because I was fully remote and needed to update my coworkers on my progress. We had weekly meetings and also used Google Chats to stay in touch between meetings. Most of our projects were collaborative efforts so it was important to keep all of my team members up to date as I made progress. 

 Attention to detail was another skill that I grew as an intern. My work consisted of proofreading weekly newsletters, writing policy briefs aimed at crafting mass letters to representatives, and updating arrest data on our website (just to name a few). Each of these assignments required attention to detail, because I was not only representing myself with this work, but the organization’s credibility as well. I also paid close attention to deadlines and promptly attended weekly meetings, because I did not want to keep my team waiting.  

Our school’s motto is “Lead for the Greater Good,” what does this mean to you?   

Leading for the greater good means a couple of different things to me. First, it means being someone others can look up to. Whether in a leadership role or as a member of a team, it is important to me to take care in completing my work and volunteering to help others if they have a lot on their plate. I believe that being a helpful coworker sets precedence for the whole team and encourages everyone to put their best foot forward. 

The second thing it means to me is doing work that promotes a better future for those around us. When applying to NORML, I read blogs from interns from previous years who often cited NORML’s work to end racial disparities from the War on Drugs as a reason they wanted to work there. I wanted to work at an organization that was proud to publish young, progressive voices. In this role I got to contribute to growing political knowledge and making advocacy easier for Americans through my work. To me, that is leading for the greater good.  

Work Experience
  • Fall Policy Intern
  • NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
Career Exploration, Internship Search, Policy, Service, Advocacy