Category: Public Service, Policy & Social Impact
A UD Public Policy Fellowship
August 18, 2021 Written by Jessica Smith | Photo provided by Brant Roun
Junior economics and public policy double major Brant Roun didn’t have to look outside UD for his internship this summer. Roun served as an undergraduate public policy fellow at the Institute of Public Administration from June 7 through August 13.
“I found my internship through a friend who had participated in the program,” says Roun. “My daily duties and responsibilities consist of mostly research relating to topics that my supervisors provide to me, mainly on transportation in the state of Delaware. This experience has been entirely virtual.”
Roun says his initial work involved testing the Delaware Department of Transportation app to provide feedback and pinpoint any potential areas for improvement. Over the course of the summer, his responsibilities increased and he was granted a more hands-on approach to implementing changes, including a way to directly impact Delawareans in their neighborhoods.
“My work evolved into researching and designing a template for an online course on walkable communities,” he says.
This project helped Roun better understand the inner workings of public policy initiatives and ultimately confirmed his career goals.
“There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes unseen in the world of public policy and public administration,” Roun says. “This experience includes a lot of that work, which is the future career that I want to pursue.”
Roun says the most difficult part of his internship was ensuring that his research content was useful to both his supervisors and the Institute of Public Administration. But this challenge was supported by the reward of a job well done, providing insightful feedback and helping develop a useful template for an online course that can be utilized by others.
Last year, Roun participated in the Make It Count initiative to increase TurboVote student sign-ups ahead of the 2020 general election, as well as the Sunrise Newark Movement to spread awareness of environmental issues and elect leaders that will enact sustainable policies. He credits both of these organizations and his curriculum with helping him determine his dream job.
“These clubs and all of my economics and public policy classes at UD inspired my professional path,” he says.
Roun encourages fellow to learn more about their desired industry and figure out what works for them. “I think it’s important for students to pursue jobs and internships before graduating because it gives them the chance to experience a bit of their future career paths and helps them decide if they actually like that path or not,” he says. “Find your passion and plan ahead!”