For me, there is not much difference between domestic and international policies. As a matter of fact, that is one conclusion I reached during this past summer while participating in the Humanitarian Track of the Geneva Program with Duke. It was a week of intensive learning, modules, role-playing, and networking. The highlight of this experience was meeting other students from various universities across the U.S. and globally, while hearing speakers and world experts on the international humanitarian stage ranging from UNICEF to UNHCR.
Coming from Capitol Hill, this experience abroad was an exposure to the same problems I witnessed as a staffer for Senator Schumer during the Trump Administration. Towards the end of my time on Schumer’s staff, I helped produce digital messaging for the COVID-19 Stimulus Package. My role involved working closely with the digital, communications, and legislative teams to disseminate legislative updates and the on-goings of Congress in a digestible way online. All in all, there was a lot of overlap and relevance in the material I am learning in class that translates to my experience on the Hill and vice versa.
Working in politics is what led me back to graduate school to study public policy. My favorite experiences at Sanford so far have been with my peers and expanding my world view. With these new insights, I want to work to change polices that are inequitable by combining research and human-centered design to advance equity. I hope to return to Washington, DC more prepared to help shape policy and create positive change from a different perspective. What do those future endeavors look like? I would ideally like to return to the public sector or work on a campaign upon graduation. But eventually, I want to join a company’s corporate social responsibility or government relations team to strengthen public-private partnerships.
In the meantime, I will be spending my second and final year at Duke advocating for my peers as treasurer for Policy in Living Color.
– Tinae Bluitt #HumansofDukeSanford #MPP