The Charger Blog

Political Science Major Reflects on Internship in Connecticut State Treasurer's Office

For Carolyn Olortegui '20, participating in a summer internship in the Office of Shawn Wooden enabled her to make important connections while exploring her interests in education policy and minority rights advocacy.

September 25, 2019

By Carolyn Olortegui '20

Image of Carolyn Olortegui as an intern at the State Treasurer's office.
Carolyn Olortegui '20 (second from right) was an intern in the Office of Shawn Wooden, Connecticut State Treasurer.

Working as a policy intern in the Office of Shawn Wooden, the Connecticut State Treasurer, in Hartford was an amazing experience that allowed me to dive into the policy arena, helping me to clarify my career plans. During my time there, I worked directly under Deputy Treasurer Linda Savitsky, while also working with the policy unit, human resources, and communications.

During my internship, I conducted policy research on corporate citizenship and financial literacy initiatives, created a database that organizes the Boards and Commissions the Treasurer sits on, and developed and administered a survey for the human resources office. I also organized the communications department's press list and attended a number of high-level meetings.

"This experience gave me a deeper understanding of how monetary decisions are made within the state."Carolyn Olortegui '20

These experiences not only enabled me to further develop my organizational, critical thinking, writing, and research skills, they gave me the opportunity to network with people in both the public and private sectors.

This experience gave me a deeper understanding of how monetary decisions are made within the state. I was given the opportunity to attend meetings of the Investment Advisory Council, the Governor's Council on Women and Girls, and the Municipal Accountability Review Board, as well as a Connecticut Health and Education Facilities Authority forum.

I met with people from different departments and agencies – including directors and board members. This experience allowed me to meet people who I never would have encountered otherwise and enabled me to understand the inner workings of state government.

Moving forward, I am confident that the connections I have made will create even more opportunities for me. As a political science major with a minor in behavioral economics, this internship was the perfect experience, as it allowed me to gain further insight into my interests in education policy and advocacy for minority rights. While at the Office of the Treasurer, I learned about and connected with a number of different agencies and nonprofits that focus on those issues.

Image of Carolyn Olortegui '20
Carolyn Olortegui '20 and Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden.

I would like to thank Juan Hernandez, director of the Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of New Haven, for encouraging me to apply for this internship. It has only fueled my desire to work in government, and it has opened my eyes to the different avenues available.

I was able to apply what I have learned in the classroom to a state office setting, enabling me to see just how well the University of New Haven has prepared me to work in my chosen field.