Local study brings global rewards

Local study brings global rewards

Undergraduate student to participate in the American political system through sought-after internship

As many students enjoy their summer break and recover from Christmas festivities, Mitchell Brown will be boarding a plane to undertake a coveted two month internship in Washington DC, the heart of America’s political system.

Mitchell is the 2018 University of Wollongong (UOW) recipient of the Uni-Capitol Washington Internship Program (UCWIP). The program is open to only ten of Australia’s universities and a total of 12 to 14 internships are awarded each year, across a range of academic disciplines.

A Wollongong local and fourth year Bachelor or Laws/Bachelor of International Studies student, Mitchell is thrilled to be heading Stateside.

“I’m incredibly humbled and very excited for the opportunity to experience the United States political system and American life. Having studied the theory, I’m very interested to see the practicalities of US politics, especially in terms of policy creation.”

UCWIP internships are offered in Democratic and Republican offices in the House and the Senate. Duties vary depending on the needs of the sponsoring office, but can include administrative functions, constituent liaison, legislative research and attendance at hearings, briefings and press conferences, both on and off Capitol Hill.

Students are able to nominate the offices they are most interested in interning with and Mitchell received his first choice, working for Cuban-born Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, Senior Senator for New Jersey since 2006. Senator Menendez has also been Chair of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, acting with President Obama during the Syrian crises, has voiced concerns over North Korea and worked with the Human Rights Caucus.

“I’m very interested to work for Senator Menendez because of his passion for and focus on foreign affairs, immigration reform and educational accessibility,” Mitchell said. “Senator Menendez was the first of his family to attend university, as am I. I understand the power of education and feel our values are aligned. I have an academic and personal interest in the same things as the Senator and it is a true honour to be able to work for him.”

“The UCWIP internship stands out as a hallmark opportunity for university students and I’m thrilled that UOW is one of the limited number of universities able to access the program. The internship gives me the opportunity to be involved in the American democratic process first-hand, adding immensely to my academic and personal growth and heightening my career prospects post-graduation.”

Mitchell has also participated in the 2016 UOW McKinnon Walker study tour, travelling to parts of Europe and some areas of the United States and has led the UOW delegation to the Asia Pacific Model United Nations in Kuala Lumpur.

“I would encourage all students to take up the amazing opportunities available to them at UOW. They are invaluable for enhancing current learning and future prospects,” said Mitchell.