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Next Gen spends the day in DC for Career Exploration Day

Next Gen spends the day in DC for Career Exploration Day

Penn State School of Public Policy
Next Gen DC Career Exploration Day
March 14, 2024

Earlier this month, nine undergraduate students from our Next Gen Leadership Academy embarked on an enlightening journey to Washington, D.C., where they spent the day immersed in insightful discussions, making valuable connections, and exploring the nation’s capital.

The day’s programming commenced with a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, where our students had the privilege of engaging with various Penn State alumni. Among them were Pete Kurtz-Glovas, Deputy Director of Regional Partnerships at the Polarization & Extremism Research & Innovation Lab; Jay Deeney, Senior Technical Advisor with the U.S. Space Force; and Tim Powderly, Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Americas at Apple, Inc. Through these engaging sessions, our students delved into topics ranging from communication skills to effective leadership qualities while also hearing about the speakers’ respective career paths.

The session with Tim Powderly, who also serves on the School of Public Policy’s Board of Visitors, was particularly noteworthy. Our students were captivated as they gained insights from Tim’s perspective on congressional efforts to ban TikTok, offering a real-world glimpse into the intersection of technology, policy, and governance.
In addition to these enriching discussions, our students had the opportunity to explore the U.S. Capitol complex, where they visited the U.S. House Agriculture Committee room in the Longworth Building. While there, they participated in a roundtable discussion with Penn State alumni currently working on Capitol Hill, including Nick Rockwell, Professional Staff at the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture; William Bensur, Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Roger Marshall; Taylor McCarty Hoover, Vice President of Public Relations at Cogent Strategies; and Nick Borgaonkar, Legislative Staff Assistant in U.S. Senator John Fetterman’s office.

This session provided invaluable insights, practical advice, and networking opportunities for our students, empowering them to navigate the intricacies of Capitol Hill and explore congressional career pathways.

Overall, the Next Gen Leadership Academy’s Washington DC Career Exploration was a resounding success, providing our students with an immersive and enriching experience that deepened their understanding of public policy, leadership, and civic engagement. Several of our Next Gen have already expressed a desire to return to DC to pursue internship and job opportunities.