Name: Lande Watson
Major/Year/School: Political Communication, Class of ‘18, The George Washington University
Position: Communications Intern
Past Internships: The White House, Department of Justice, EMILY’s List
What drew you to an internship at IWPR?
When I was a freshman in college, I used some of IWPR’s research for a policy memo I wrote on the tipped minimum wage. I was fascinated and appalled to discover the disproportionate impact of a low tipped minimum wage on women and people of color. I thought it was incredibly important that there’s an organization devoted to women’s policy research and specifically dedicated to exploring and highlighting the intersections between different racial, socioeconomic, and gender identities. Having the opportunity to help communicate the findings of IWPR’s research to a broader audience and influence public policy ultimately convinced me to apply for a summer communications internship at the organization!
What does a typical day as a communications intern at IWPR look like?
I love the combination of routine and spontaneity that defines my day to day at IWPR. Every morning when I get to the office I compile morning clips while drinking a cup of coffee (or two). Usually around mid-morning we have a communications check-in meeting and then I move on to drafting social media posts. After that, it completely depends on the day. Sometimes I work on our google analytics or research how we can communicate our research to more people. Sometimes I update our press hit tracker or compile podcast shows that might highlight our work. And sometimes I take notes on a webinar or conference call. Or I work on a completely new project to support the communications team!
What’s the best part of interning at IWPR?
Interns are valued as members of the IWPR team and staff members are always open to hearing ideas and suggestions. There are so many opportunities to develop skills and discover new interests as long as you put yourself out there! Also people bring baked goods to all-staff meetings.
What are your future career interests?
Understanding the ways in which the justice system fails vulnerable populations, especially youth, has cemented my desire to pursue a career in law, with a specific interest in how the law affects vulnerable populations including children, women who are victims of sexual assault or discrimination, and those who don’t have access to quality legal counsel. Upon receiving my law degree I hope to work on legal policy within the California state justice system.
Any advice for future IWPR interns?
Talk to the other interns and staff members who are researching issues that interest you. Everyone around you is so knowledgeable and passionate about their research topics and you can learn a lot just by asking someone what they’re working on.
Favorite lunch spot? Nando’s Peri-Peri (It’s next door to the office and their chicken is amazing.)
Favorite D.C. museum? The National Portrait Gallery
Favorite podcast or reading material on your commute? I love to listen to Reply All, Startup or This American Life while walking to work!
What else do you like to do in your spare time? I like to swim and read in my spare time.
Stay tuned throughout the summer as we highlight other IWPR interns and learn more about IWPR’s internship program here.