As an intern at the McKeon Group, I had the opportunity to be directly involved in government affairs while gaining insight into a variety of issues. With a diverse client base ranging from education non-profits to cybersecurity companies, I had valuable exposure to new project areas and research policy that is currently making its way through Capitol Hill.

At the McKeon Group, working as an intern does not limit your access to significant and rewarding work. On my first day, my supervisors and peers asked about my interests and inquired about my career goals. Regardless of my status as an intern, I was welcomed to be a part of client calls, internal meetings, and industry events around the city. Similarly, working with specialists from the private sector and policy experts from Capitol Hill, I soon discovered the deep breadth of knowledge available just around the office corner. For example, the leaders of the McKeon’s education practice are familiar with general education issues but also have specific experience and knowledge in policy areas like juvenile justice, family learning, and special education.

The fast-paced legislative agenda and whirlwind policy shifts that developed over the course of the fall overlapped with client matters. I developed subject area expertise in the field of education, learning about the state and federal levels of public education. I cultivated a deep knowledge of prominent federal education and family-related bills and programs, such as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); the federal budget; and the appropriations process.

During this time, one of the most valuable experiences was building a strong relationship with my supervisor and mentor, Laura Kaloi. Laura emphasized that “McKeon’s policy internship is specifically focused on providing real-world experience as a member of our team. We mentor and support our interns and strive to offer a meaningful professional opportunity in the midst of what’s happening in and around the U.S. Congress.” By working with Laura, I could observe and learn from her in areas ranging from building client relations to developing strategic policy plans. And essential to the internship experience, Laura’s open-door policy helped me feel comfortable and she always welcomed my questions.

My time as an intern with the McKeon Group yielded a substantial work portfolio, many incredible relationships, and a deeper knowledge of government relations. This internship was an irreplaceable experience that has cemented a strong foundation in public policy and government affairs. I am fortunate that I will be joining the education practice full-time in December and I am excited to continue my journey with the McKeon Group. Any candidate who is detail oriented, consistent, and eager to learn would succeed as an intern at this firm.