Sam Hatzenbeler: Why I interned at EOI

September 25, 2014 | EOI Intern

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“Working at EOI gives you access to cutting edge policy and communications experts.”

Sam Hatzenbeler, a Graduate Policy Intern here at EOI, is wrapping up her summer internship with us. Below, she shares why she applied to work at EOI and what she’s away taking from the experience. Sam will receive her master’s degree in public health from the Community Oriented Public Health Practice program at the University of Washington next summer.

Why did you decide to work for EOI this summer?

I’m passionate about making social change to address systemic inequities and I see EOI as a leader in that work. I’ve used their blog and publications while in school to inform myself about progressive policy work in Washington State. I knew this internship would be an incredible opportunity to sharpen my policy analysis skills and practice writing in a way that is accessible to the general public. In school, we are trained to write at a level that isn’t accessible to most, and you can’t mobilize communities for social change with that exclusive language. Working at EOI has taught me how to write effectively and draw attention to our issues – all while being grounded in relevant and sound research.

What projects did you work on and what was exciting about them?

Getting the opportunity to research and draft the policy brief publications on fair pay was exciting. Knowing that the work I did was going to help get these ideas out to the public and decision makers was really satisfying. Another fun and interesting part of my work here has been writing for their blog. It required that I bring myself up to speed on the intricacies of state and federal policies on a wide variety of topics and then write about them, using humor and candor. I also participated in the community organizing efforts to plan three forums across Washington State to build women’s economic security. As someone who is passionate about women’s issues, meeting leaders around the state on issues affecting working women was very meaningful to me.

What are you taking away from your experience with EOI and how will what you’ve learned be useful to you in the future?

First and foremost, I am ending my internship with a far greater understanding of, and indeed, a deeper passion for, the issues EOI champions, such as paid family leave, higher education, and women’s economic security. Social and health inequities are based in systemic barriers – as a public health professional, it is crucial that I understand the ins and outs of organizing for policy change.

What advice do you have for future EOI Interns?

Working here gives you access to cutting edge policy and communications experts. Take advantage of this opportunity during your time here! The best way to gain access to staff is to offer to help them with their projects. This will take some weight off their shoulders and in return, you get to learn what they do and how they do it.

To my EOI colleagues, I want to say, thank you, to each of you. The work you do matters and you’ve earned my utmost respect and gratitude for welcoming and guiding me so well. The kindness, generosity, and respect I have been shown from everyone here are gifts I will carry with me as I continue on in my career.

 Editor’s Note: Interested in an internship at EOI? Check our website early next spring to apply.

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