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The Life of a SPPG Intern

Written by Joshua Duden November 5, 2014

Let me take you back to my first day at SPPG — it was a Monday in January, and it was very, very cold. I walked into the office in a tie and cardigan, dressed more out of fear of fitting in in the midst of a new, presumably-uncomfortable setting. I "checked in" to get to work and was notified of the regular staff meeting that would happen that morning. Shortly after, the staff headed back to the conference room. As every member of the SPPG team took their seats around the table I stood frozen to decide whether to sit away from the table and observe, or find a seat with the team. That choice was soon taken away from me and I was warmly invited around the table to discuss, learn, and engage with the work we do to make change here in Iowa and beyond — that experience on day one still translates to each-and-every day at SPPG as I now serve as a two-term intern.


So, let’s start with this, I am currently a student at Drake University studying Political Science, International Relations, Pre-Law, and Communications. Often times I weigh what has impacted my college experience more, my classrooms or my internship experience. But, to me and in my life, both have been experiences that are equally important and impactful.


In an academic setting students are expected to learn, to read, and to understand the theories and events which have and are expected to happen, but as an intern it is so different. SPPG and the amazing staff here have been patient with me to learn, they have taught me how to see what I have learned in school and how take action and find understanding in policy — this approach to work and success makes all the difference.


There has never been a day at SPPG where I haven’t felt included or welcomed, and that is the approach I cannot wait to take to my work in the future. My short time with this organization has changed how I see work and education, and their passion and involvement is transformative and contagious. I cannot wait to go to work each day, and I am excited to serve as an intern as long as they will have me!

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