Mercedes Chavez

Research Intern

Mercedes  Chavez

Mercedes Chavez

    What is your educational background?

    I am currently a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing a degree in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics. Additionally, I am minoring in History and Legal Studies between the College of Arts and Sciences and Wharton. My enthusiasm for these subjects originates from my interest in the legal system and the law. From my time working at the District Attorney’s office in El Paso, Texas to working with politically focused clubs on campus, I have become passionate in learning about the ways in which the law and public policy impact people’s lives. In the future, I hope to pursue a career as an attorney in order to combine my interests in research, the law, and public speaking.

    What have you been working on in your time at the USSC?

    I have been able to do a wide breadth of tasks while at the USSC. During my time, I have been able to contribute to research projects on the 2020 election, Fintech clusters, and editing other research pieces. In addition to these tasks, I plan on writing an op-ed of my own research with the help of my supervisors and colleagues. Ultimately, the work I do here covers a broad stretch of topics and tasks that encourages me to learn more about fields that I am unfamiliar with. This internship has allowed me to be able to learn a diverse range of topics and has challenged me to become a more informed and impartial student.

    Why did you want to intern at the USSC?

    I wanted to intern at the USSC because I had been very eager to work in research. At school, I have enjoyed the ability to write papers on political science research and I was interested in taking the skills I learned in these classes to work on more independent, in-depth research projects. In particular, having a concentration in American Politics has allowed me to be able to explore my passion for American policy. Therefore, when I heard of the opening at the USSC, I knew that it’d be the perfect match for me to be able to gain more research experience, apply the skills in research that I already had, and be able to do research in a field that interested me. Additionally, I was interested in learning about American politics through the lens of a third party. This experience has been my first outside of the United States and I was excited to learn about viewpoints of the US from non-citizens. While concentrating in American Politics in the United States has given me a strong base of knowledge, I have been interested to learn more about foreign policy and know that this internship will allow me to do that.

    What do you hope to do with your experience from the USSC?

    I hope to be able to use the research skills I have learned during my time here at the USSC in my schoolwork and law school in the future. I also plan on being able to use my knowledge of Australia and the politics here to widen my understanding of US politics. I also hope that learning more about Australian political views of the US will allow me to be a more informed student. I hope that this experience will encourage me to be a more informed and intellectually curious student overall. I also plan on informing interested family, friends, and colleagues about the research I’ve seen at the USSC and encourage others to increase their knowledge or interest of foreign policy.