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In Day of Networking, Fels Students Engage Policymakers from Think Tanks to White House

November 24, 2015

In early November, 42 current and executive Fels students descended upon Washington, D.C. for a dizzying day of networking with top policy hands from “Think Tank Row” to the White House. 

Splitting into groups along lines of interest and policy background, students engaged with high level officials and thought-leaders for off-the-record conversations.

“My favorite meeting was with the Center for American Progress,” said first-year MPA student Persephone Tan. “We heard from a panel of expert staff who spearhead the daily functions of the progressive think tank. Their backgrounds in communications, LGBT rights, and government relations demonstrated a cohesive and interdependent team needed to promote their work in public policy and research to various stakeholders.”

"The highlight of the DC trip was the participation of a great variety of national and international organizations,” said Joao Paulo Braga, a second-year who attended a presentation on national security policy at the American Enterprise Institute. “Students had flexibility and autonomy to prioritize and engage meetings according to their fields of interest and career plans." 

Each year, Fels organizes two career days for all full-time and executive MPA students - Washington, D.C in the fall and New York City in the spring. These career days include a series of small group meetings with public, private and nonprofit organizations, as well as lunches with prominent alumni in both cities. 

These sessions enable current full-time and executive students to learn about different areas of professional interest, network, and leverage connections with Fels alumni and explore internship opportunities.

The day ended with a reception hosted by former Washington Post correspondent and Emmy Award-winner Charles Krause. The veteran foreign affairs correspondent invited students into his museum featuring the work of artists influenced by the political upheaval of the late 20th century, specifically that of Polish Solidarity artist Jerzy Janiszewski.

"These career day allow us to explore career options we may not have thought of before, or delve deeper into an area of interest,” said first-year Natalie Parker. “I realized that I had a few misconceptions about what government agencies I was able to work for and DC Career Day opened up many more job options than I had previously thought were available to me."

Fels students had the opportunity to visit up to four of the following organizations:

  • White House
  • Capitol Hill
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • American Enterprise Institute
  • Center for American Progress
  • Jobs with Justice
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • World Bank
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Small Business Administration

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu