Throughout this summer, we will be spotlighting the summer experiences of our IOP students working in politics and public service through their internships across the country and globe.
The Director’s Internship program has been a signature of the Institute of Politics for nearly 25 years and each summer the IOP works with more than 150 government offices, non-profits, and news organizations to provide internships for students who are looking to pursue careers in politics and public service. The IOP also offers summer stipends for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors accepting non- or low-paying summer internships in local, state, or federal government, public interest groups, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, and political campaigns.
This summer, as in years past, many of those students will be spending their summer giving back abroad - gaining experience working with governments and organizations across the globe.
Shi Le Wong '22 is spending her summer in Singapore working with the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE).
What inspired you to choose this public service internship?
I worked in a government agency for a year during my gap year, and I wanted to explore a different part of the public sector. At the same time, I wanted a broad view of social issues and opportunities to interact with social providers up close. The social enterprise scene in Singapore is a relatively young and growing one, so it is an exciting time to join. The double bottomline of profit and social mission makes running social enterprises challenging, but there is also so much room to try new things. raiSE offers me a wide and deep view into the social enterprise sector, while allowing me contribute meaningfully too.
What issues have you been focusing on in your internship?
My department is focused on building capacity and capabilities of social enterprises so that they can be operationally stable and increase social impact. We curate workshops and run programs that help social enterprises of all stages to establish and scale.
What are you most excited about working in public service and government?
As the core of social service programs in Singapore, the government holds a lot of information and resources. Together with their networks of social service agencies and private sector partners, there is just so much potential in bringing different stakeholders together to implement large scale, long lasting projects which bring a lot of fulfillment in its deeper, purposeful impact.
What have you learned from/gotten out of your internship experience this summer?
I’ve learned to look at the wider landscape of the social sector, beyond providers and the government to the private sector as well. Forming partnerships between the different groups can be so powerful in ensuring sustainable initiatives and ecosystems.