UCDC Spring 2023: Fundraising and Development at the American Enterprise Institute

March 6, 2023

Being a deferred transfer, coming to Washington DC, and having the opportunity to work and live here has been an incredible and still unbelievable experience. At the American Enterprise Institute, I work in the development department, which means I get to work on the business and fundraising side of the think tank world, something I knew very little about prior to coming here. In my role, I research donors and their work which allows my department to fundraise and reach out to donors as efficiently as possible, and to enable AEI to continue in the work they're doing in both research and policy. Because AEI is one of the most well-respected think tanks, it is gratifying to see and speak with the scholars who are active in their research, and who understand the contributions interns make to their work and career. It is also still amazing to me to walk past the Brookings Institute and work at the American Enterprise Institute, both names I had recognized from previous class research in my political science field. 

I started my internship at the American Enterprise Institute at the end of January, meaning I had plenty of time to explore this incredible city. In my downtime, I was able to visit all the Smithsonians on the National Mall, tour the White House, and I’ve visited the Lincoln Memorial many times at night. During my time here I’ve also been able to network, and from CAL alums I’ve learned that no longer how long you stay, you're always in awe every time you visit the national mall and look down to see our nation’s capital building. Living with other UC students is also a great experience because not only are my roommates excellent, but we’re all able to share this core experience together. In our downtime, we've taken trips to Virginia to see the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Center and even gone to New York on the President’s Day weekend, something I never imagined I would be able to do. Because of programs like UCDC and the Matusi fellowship, I am so thankful to be in this current opportunity, and I fully intend to make the most of my opportunity here.