Incredibly, it’s August. This means that the fall semester will be starting soon – and that I have finished my summer internship with NCSC. July 30th was my last day, the end of a ten-week period that sped by. Over the course of the internship, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, give a presentation on elections and the rule of law in the US and abroad, and make new connections and friendships.
As I noted in my first post, when I began the internship, I was nervous about its remote format since I had hit the dreaded pandemic wall during the spring semester. However, my concerns that the remote format might undercut the internship experience were dispelled during the first week when I met my supervisor and fellow interns and realized that mitigating the separation imposed by the remote format would itself be one of the main objectives of this pandemic-era internship. Through weekly assignment check-ins, learning sessions, one-on-one video meetings, phone calls, symposia, and Friday morning intern kaffeeklatsches (as our supervisor first referred to the end-of-week coffee breaks, and as we, the interns, fondly started calling them), there were many opportunities to keep in touch and feel connected. Several NCSC program associates also organized virtual intern happy hours to meet and chat informally – to learn more about NCSC’s work as well as each other’s backgrounds and interests. It was especially good to get to know my fellow interns over the summer as we worked on projects together. I enjoyed learning about their areas of interest and future aspirations and sharing the intern experience with them.
In addition to appreciating these social aspects of the internship, I also further developed skills – including legal research, analysis, and writing; project collaboration; and public speaking – that will certainly benefit me in my future pursuits. Alongside the internship’s legal skills development was its focus on expanding our understanding of the rule of law, which was accomplished through the weekly learning sessions. I think that this rule of law focus makes the internship at NCSC special. By the end of the summer, I felt like I had taken a mini-course in rule of law (I shared some of my reflections flowing out of the learning sessions in my second post). As I go into the next academic year and once again hit the books, I anticipate that having a rule of law perspective will be highly enriching.
In sum, this internship was a great experience. I was able to complete assignments for NCSC and in the process gain valuable experience and connections. With the internship finished, I’m looking forward to the upcoming school year (albeit after a break). But, I’m also excited to stay in touch with my colleagues from this summer and to carry this internship’s insights with me as I go forward.