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[cue Dolly Parton] “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin”.
This has been my life motto for the past week; the first week of DukeEngage DC.

On Tuesday, I started my career in being a BioTrust Intern at Genetic Alliance, which is a DC­-based nonprofit that specializes in health advocacy amongst different medical networks. And, I must admit, I have really enjoyed my time [in the 3 whole days that I have worked there]. I admire Genetic Alliance and their ability to provide their interns with close­-to-­absolute independence.
By independence at my workplace, I mean that it feels as if my supervisors actually value my opinion and the ideas that I set forth. For example, on the second day, my main supervisor encouraged for all the BioTrust interns to create their own individual project for the summer. When brainstorming for this, I realized that my possibilities were endless, of course with the approval from my co­workers. My supervisors have proposed projects such as presentations or literature pieces published in academic journals. Though these projects require interns’ endless hard work, achieving these goals seems to be far from impossible.

For this sort of project, I hope to create a product that intersects my interests in immigration policy and health care policy. I want to understand the additional benefits that derive from when minorities in the United States are well-­immersed in participating in medical research. So, I plan to heavily study and read existing research on these subjects.

In addition, my overall experience with living in Washington, DC has been all about independence. As a newly­-bred Washingtonian, I have cooked my own meals, relied on the city’s public transportation, and explored what the city has to offer. I’ve been able to visit amazing museums, such as National Museum of American History, and eat out at local food establishments, like SKWR [which I totally recommend].

I am really grateful to be a part of this program. I have gotten to meet people from different sectors of the United States and the world. And, it is really cool to be able to use my skills from my past Public Policy and Global Health classes and apply them to my future work at Genetic Alliance. I am so looking forward to the rest of the summer in the DC!