Name: Jessica Vedrani
Hometown: Salisbury, Massachusetts
Year: Class of 2021
Internship: Vedrani interned with the Climate Action Campaign as the data and operations fellow in Washington, D.C. She was in charge of analyzing senator voting records, speeches, statements and social media posts surrounding the topic of climate change to create the first-ever Climate Index. Vedrani also helped to prepare call plans and data for the upcoming Climate Action Campaign patch-through phone programs. She attended a celebration for all of the women in the 116th Congress, as well as the first-ever meeting for the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis – a committee comprised of Senators Schatz, Baldwin, Bennet, Cortez Masto, Duckworth, Heinrich, Markey, Merkley, Smith and Whitehouse.
How HPU helped you get there: “I obtained this internship through the ‘Power and Politics Inside the Beltway’ Maymester with Dr. Kifer and Dr. Lenoir that I took with the Political Science Department during my freshman year. On the Maymester trip, I had the opportunity to see Washington D.C. from a different perspective, meet individuals from all walks of life and connect with HPU alumni who work in the city. Through these networking opportunities, I was introduced to Ameer Patel, who works at the Climate Action Campaign. When my time in D.C. ended, I remained in touch with the alumni I met and inquired about internship opportunities in their field of work or from other organizations, which eventually helped me obtain this internship. HPU prepared me to be able to network wherever I go. I have learned that connections are everything and you might meet the employer of your dream job when you least expect it. From the resources in Cottrell Hall, ranging from the Office of Career and Professional Development to the International Student Concourse Fuselage, it has been instilled in me to talk to people and remain in touch with them, as these experiences can pave the way to our future. I used Career and Professional Development to help me write my personal statements, clean up my resume and cover letter, and shape my LinkedIn to reflect my desire to work in Washington D.C. I also used LinkedIn Photo Day to make my social media and LinkedIn profile more appealing to future employers. Lastly, I was able to build connections within the office and keep them updated on each stage of the interviewing process so they could provide \ support throughout the process.”
Most Impactful Mentor: “Dr. Martin Kifer, who has been my professor and career mentor since my freshman year. I was introduced to him when I worked for the Survey Research Center, but going on a Maymester with him as a faculty advisor is what has propelled my career. Since being connected to HPU alumni on the Maymester, Dr. Kifer has always pushed me academically and professionally. Most importantly, Dr. Kifer has always believed in me and my future even when I couldn’t. He has connected me to fellowship opportunities, internship opportunities and people in the political field.”
What has your internship experience been like, and how is it preparing you for your future?: “Overall, this was an eye-opening, transformative experience I will cherish forever. Being the only intern in the office, the supervisors were able to tailor my experience to my individual passions. I was also able to work for the government affairs, partner engagement, state operations teams and data and operations departments. This experience showed me how Washington D.C. is truly in the hands of young people and how a lot of political work is completed outside of Congress. Thinktanks, non-profits and lobbying firms have a great deal of influence and being able to see first-hand the different career paths my degree can take has been transformative. Living in D.C. with people I have never met before, from all walks of life, and being able to make connections has had a significant impact on my future goals. I have been able to apply all of my work from the classroom to the real world, ultimately gaining a new perspective on the discipline I study, how the political world works and finding a fresh way to look at the world around me.”