emily cooper, 2015

Double major in Politics and Music

Quick Facts

Mayor's Internship Program
Philadelphia, PA
Summer 2013, unpaid



Emily Cooper interned in the Department of Human Resources at Philadelphia City Hall. The Department of Human Resources works primarily with child protective services, adoption, and foster care. This junior politics major revised and researched new policies being developed within the department, in order to make sure all members were on the same page and understood these changes. Cooper also had the opportunity to create new policy ideas for the department and work with Mayor Michael Nutter. All of this policy creation and research is then presented to the city in order to make official policies and regulations. “I was really lucky to have the opportunity in this internship to make a difference in Philadelphia and residence’s lives. One point of the new policy is ensuring that every child who lives in Philly is safe, and I was able to have a hand in making that happen.” Cooper was one of fifty applicants accepted into this internship, which required an intense application process of phone and email interviews, in-person interviews, a resume, references, and essay.

Skills Utilized

Researching and writing policies increased Emily’s skills as a writer. Emily also obtained a project planning certificate to advise and plan different projects within the city and gained an increased knowledge of Microsoft Office. “I’m a much better note taker than before the internship,” Cooper stated. “I can look at a document or sit in a meeting and easily pick out what is important, instead of overtaking notes.”


Cooper raved about the connections made as an intern for Philadelphia City Hall. “You don’t have to be from Philly to apply, so I was able to meet people from different parts of the country who were also interns. You also don’t have to be a politics major to apply. If you have a strong application and are passionate, they’ll accept you and find a way to utilize your major.” Emily was able to make strong connections with her supervisors and other members of city hall, and is excited to see where these connections will take her in the future.

Future Implications

Emily knows that she wants to work in politics upon graduation, and would love to work in the city of Philadelphia and possibly Washington D.C. “City government jobs are more than debating policy. We also worked with the city morgue, finance, and other departments that you wouldn’t normally associate with a city hall setting. Policy is a much smaller part of the whole system.”


According to Emily, it is crucial to get recommendations from the right people and fulfill all of the necessary needs when applying. “Many qualified people miss out on great internship opportunities because they don’t give their employer everything they need, which is a shame.” Cooper also stated the importance of having back up plans when applying for internships, as well as having a working knowledge of connections and your own skills.