This spring, Loyola Marymount University’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts announced a new partnership on campus: the World Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University, an interdisciplinary research and academic center for global policy. The new partnership between LMU and the New York-based World Policy Institute (WPI) will be a bicoastal ideas incubator, generating scholarship and programming on international policy – in New York City and on our campus in Los Angeles. This summer, Alexia Barbaro ’16 flew to New York City to be the first WPI@LMU summer intern at WPI’s headquarters.
All summer, Barbaro churned through rigorous policy research and writing as a research assistant for WPI’s Program for African Thought. In her first week on the job, Barbaro was drafting grant proposals to major foundations and corporate partners. By Week 4, she was researching her own policy paper on Chinese development in sub-Saharan Africa, which she hopes to publish this fall. By the end of her internship, she had published a piece in Okay Africa, an online magazine on African politics and culture.
At first, Barbaro was nervous. “My fellow interns all had master’s degrees!” she explained. But her political science and philosophy coursework had prepared her to do well. “In philosophy, you’re trained to take many points of view into account before you speak. That’s essential here.”
This fall, Barbaro turns her focus from sub-Saharan Africa to the British Parliament. She has been chosen to participate in the prestigious Hansard Scholars Program, a semester-long immersion in British politics, through which she will intern with a member of House of Commons while taking classes at the London School of Economics.
Barbaro encourages fellow Lions to seek out internships like these, whether around the world or around the corner. “I’ve learned things here I couldn’t learn in a classroom,” she reports. “Writing for very different audiences; having multiple people read and revise your writing; even just dealing with different types of people. These are things you get in a professional environment – and they are invaluable.”
Read Barbaro’s piece here at Okay Africa.