Internship Reflections: My D.C. Experience

As college students, there are a variety of ways to enhance your college experience and an overwhelmingly popular one is studying abroad. By studying abroad, students are exposed to different cultural perspectives, which is increasingly valuable in the ever-changing global nature of the business world. While most students study abroad by going to another country, there are also opportunities to study abroad without going to another country. Below, Meagan Ehl (’18, Public Policy) writes about her study abroad experience as an intern for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

Hi! I’m Meagan Ehl. I am a senior here at Bentley majoring in Public Policy with minors in Computer Information Systems and Business Studies. I was lucky enough to go abroad for two semesters my junior year: I spent one semester in Madrid, Spain and another semester in Washington, D.C. I spent four full-time days a week interning in the Division of Advertising Practices at the Federal Trade Commission in the Spring of 2017 in D.C. Besides working with and learning from great people and attorneys, I really enjoyed the work I was doing.

The Division of Advertising Practices protects against unfair or deceptive advertising and marketing practices that raise health and safety concerns or cause economic injury. One aspect of this internship was monitoring product advertising claims via the internet. I did this by using website capture software, assisting different litigation teams, and reviewing and classifying consumer complaints in the database. I would also use this software to research specific companies and their marketing or information that is false, deceptive or unfair or is in violation of trade regulation rules enforced by the Division.

I additionally contributed by reviewing legal documents and transcripts while looking for data and analyzing the different data included. While it was interesting to read transcripts of legal trials, I utilized my analytical and detail-oriented skills to find different information and evidence. I then would summarize this data and present it back to the attorney(s). I used databases and memos to review, organize and catalog documents and advertisement information.

Along with the above information, I was able to attend Congress and Senate hearings throughout the semester. It was interesting to hear from so many congressmen and senators and their inquiries and points of view on various topics. Along with hearing from the congressmen and senators, Federal Trade Commission directors testified in some of these hearings and I was able to hear their arguments. I attended a tour of the Supreme Court where I saw the courtroom and library of the Supreme Court. My walk to and from work included passing landmarks such as Union Station, the Capitol, the Capitol Reflecting Pool, various museums, and some of the senate and congress buildings. I am extremely grateful for the work I did at the Federal Trade Commission, the people I worked with and learned from, and the opportunities I received from the internship. 

By Caroline Gervais
Caroline Gervais Student Director, CareerEdge & Event Planning Team Caroline Gervais