Max Mallett ’23.5

National Academy of Public Administration, Washington, D.C.

This summer I was a study team intern for the National Academy of Public Administration. In collaboration with the United States Coast Guard Academy, the study team undertook a year-long study, commissioned by Congress, into the cultural competency of the United States Coast Guard Academy and how their cultural competency could be improved. As a member of the study team, I took notes during interviews, made interview guides, reviewed documents, and discussed all of the above during weekly team meetings. I was also given multiple research responsibilities. One such project was summarizing the Rules of Regulations of the Corps of Cadets and highlighting mentions of diversity, equity, and inclusion related topics within these regulations. My favorite assignment was researching the cause of resistance to diversity, equity, and inclusion work and how this resistance can be overcome through practices and procedures empirically evidenced to be successful at increasing diversity within organizations.

Where I did the vast majority of my work for my internship.

There were also many opportunities for professional and intellectual growth. For instance, the intern development team hosted helpful sessions on topics such as note taking, professional writing, and life after an academy internship. The interns also had “Meet a Fellow” sessions with a few of the 900+ academy fellows who are all incredibly successful professionals in public administration and adjacent fields. These sessions were all interesting in their own way, and we got to ask questions to people with backgrounds from professor to ambassador and everything 
in between.

This internship was my first experience being a part of a professional working team, and that was an invaluable experience which has prepared me for any of the vast majority of future careers which require productive cooperation. Moreover, my research assignments allowed me to hone my writing and researching skills, and this ability to 
find and synthesize information for consumption by my team will serve me well regardless of my future career path.

More than anything, as an intern for the National Academy of Public Administration I felt like I was actually contributing to the mission of the organization. I have worked with other nonprofits in the past, and often the work one does as an intern can feel like busy work, or it can feel like your contributions aren’t valued. At the Academy, however, it was made clear to me that I was a valued member of the study team. Furthermore, I could see the direct link between the work I was doing and the ultimate goal of the study team, a report with recommendations for the United States Coast Guard Academy on how they can improve their cultural competency. Because I felt like the work I was doing mattered, I was constantly motivated to do my best on every assignment. The Academy’s vision is “making government work, and work for all,” and as an intern I truly felt like I was positively contributing to making this vision into a reality.

I cannot thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and William Chapman ’64 enough for enabling me to have this incredible internship opportunity.