The May volunteer of the month excitedly told me he’s “having a blast” interning for WMEAC, and backed up the statement with a laundry list of activities and events he’s been involved in—all before he knew why I had called.
“So what’s this for, again?” he asked, as we neared the end of our conversation.
“Oh, we just wanted an interview with you for the blog and newsletter, since you’re volunteer of the month–”
“Yes, congratulations!” I laughed.
Kevin graduated from Hope College in December of last year and has been interning at WMEAC since January. With a full spectrum of academic interests, he received a B.A. in Political Science and International studies, with minors in environmental studies and French. At WMEAC, Kevin works with Nick Occhipinti in policy analysis, something directly related to his career interests. In the course of his internship, he’s had the opportunity to travel to the state capital and participate in lobbying, represent WMEAC at both public and closed policy meetings, and get some project-management experience by bossing the other interns around—just kidding!
Although Kevin is a little unsure about his career plans, he’s confident that the experience gained at WMEAC has been a positive part of his education. He’s learned through his internship that both the “nitty-gritty policy work” and the person-to-person interaction are valuable and rewarding parts of a career in public policy. Whether that career focuses on environmental policy or international work that allows him to utilize his fluency in French, Kevin will display the same commitment and enthusiasm that he applies to his work at WMEAC. When asked to describe his favorite part of working at WMEAC, Kevin paused, and then laughed and warned me that the following statement would sound very cliché.
“I really enjoy it because I know that I’m putting my skills to good use—that good is coming of it. I’m not just pencil-pushing and running errands, I’m able to make a difference.”