Internship Profile

Internships put policy theory into practice

Abigail Callen writes about her internships with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Senator Joe Donnelly

In the summer of 2017, I took two substantial internships that allowed me to put policy theory into practice and will be invaluable to me as pursue my Law and Public Policy degree at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

As an intern for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, my duties varied day-to-day according to administrative priorities. One day I participated in a meeting discussing a potential program to lower the failure-to-appear rate in our courts. I also spent time researching potential programs to improve the lives of Indianapolis citizens, and then worked to identify the logistics behind creating those programs. On another day, I worked on creating the new “Welcome to Indianapolis” display at the Indianapolis International Airport. On other days, I answered telephones, taking complaints as well as compliments.

As an intern with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly’s office, my responsibilities were more routine. On a typical day, I would speak to constituents about a variety of concerns: social security problems, the Senate proposed healthcare bill, Senate confirmations, the Russia investigation, and an array of other issues. Some days constituents would call crying with worry and other days constituents would call and yell about their concerns. My role was to listen and document their concerns so that staff would be able to follow up appropriately. 

Student in front of flag
Abigail Callen, Law and Public Policy major, interned with the offices of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Senator Joe Donnelly.
50 years at O'Neill