Elsie Mayo, '15 Interns at the State Department

September 25, 2014

Elsie Mayo

Elsie interned at the U.S. Department of Education's Financial Student Aid Office.

What's your major?

I'm part of the accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Economics + Master of Arts in Public Policy program.

What's your favorite thing about your program?

The current class of 3+1 students is very small. This makes me feel unique and innovative because we are opening the door to what so many will do after us. I often have younger students coming up to me asking for advice about potentially entering the program and that's when I know me being a part of this program is bigger than me.

What's your favorite class you've taken so far at Simmons? Why?

Principles of Microeconomics. It was the first course I had ever taken in economics. Afterwards I knew I wanted to major in econ.

What class are you most looking forward to taking?

I'm looking forward to conquering econometrics. That course is sure to be a challenge. It's a mixture of two subjects that I love: economics and statistics.

Who is your favorite professor?

Professor Zinnia Mukherjee and Professor Jyoti Puri. These professors gave me the tools I needed and challenged me to take charge of my education. They were always resources and often elevated my investment in everyday topics of economics and sociology.

Where was your internship? What did you do?

I interned at the U.S. Department of Education's Financial Student Aid Office. The group I worked with was called The Ombudsman Group. The Ombudsman Group is dedicated to mediating the relationships between student loan borrowers and lenders.

What was your favorite part of your internship?

The internship allowed me to see into my own future of dealing with paying off student loans. I was able to learn what programs are out there and more about how the entire process works. Most importantly, I was able to see some of the most common mistakes people make so I can be sure to avoid those mistakes.

What was the application process like for your internship?

This was my second summer working with The Department of Education. After working in their Office of Civil Rights during the summer of 2013, I was asked to return for summer 2014. Initially, I got the internship by submitting my resume to a program in D.C. called The Summer Youth Employment Program. Later, I was contacted for a phone interview with The Department of Agriculture, and then, in light of my interest, I was transferred to The Department of Education.

What's your dream job?

My dream is more of a goal than a job. It's my goal to return home to Washington, D.C. to start or join an initiative that will help to strengthen the public schools. The alternative to inadequate public schools in D.C. is often charter schools. Though I mostly attended charter schools during grade school, not everyone can. I would like to refocus the goal from creating charter schools to bettering the Public Schools and helping the community to foster the importance of education and the attainability of higher education.