Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interning with Dow

by Evan Sarosi 
I landed a job in Washington DC in the lobbying/government affairs department at The Dow Chemical Company. Most of my work this summer has been related to regulatory reform, trying to amend the Administrative Procedures Act as well as other statutes that regulate the process by which agencies issue rules. The bulk of that work related to two specific projects. The first project required me to create an interactive federal regulatory database that highlights and assesses regulations that have a high impact on Dow. The second project was a Dow position paper detailing Dow's views on what the federal rulemaking process should look like including front-end rulemaking process rights and back-end process rights of judicial reviewability. I also had the opportunity to work outside the regulatory reform sphere in more of a public finance capacity as I was given the paired with Dow’s our head tax lobbyist to provide support in our efforts at tax reform. I attended hearings, drafted memos and proposals, and coordinated stakeholder lobbying efforts into broader coalitions. Obviously the debt ceiling has been hanging over everything and that has a significant public finance focus. As an example, this summer I attended a hearing of the Joint Committee on Taxation (the first full joint committee hearing since the 1940's) to assess the impact that the tax code's preference for debt financing over equity financing has had on over-leveraged financial firms (leading to the financial crisis). I drafted a hearing memo, submitted questions for the record and worked with tax practitioners from different firms to build a business community position with respect to the preferences for debt and equity financing.  The internship proved to be quite a fruitful opportunity and definitely one that I encourage other SPEA students to apply.

Summer Abroad

by Joseph Franzwa
(Continuing with the internship posts, this post is by Joseph Franzwa, who is also a student pursuing his MPA at SPEA and concentrating mainly in public finance.)
This summer I interned at the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) in South Korea and was the Teaching Assistant for the SPEA in Berlin study abroad course. During the SMG Internship, I was placed in the International Cooperation Division where I helped the full time staff write and revise policy reports on international local governments, compared and contrasted Chicago and Seoul’s economic plans, and helped with various other tasks around the office.  This internship has given me a new appreciation for Korean culture and invaluable experience in and foreign local government. As the TA for the SPEA in Berlin course, I helped take students around Berlin, along with Professor Dr. David B. Audretsch, to many governmental site visits, attended lectures from many of Berlin’s top schools and research institutes, and attended a two day joint economic conference between Germany and the US. This course gave me great insight in Germany’s and the United States’ innovation policy, in addition to the European Union’s globalization and public policies.

(Disclaimer: Joseph holds the office of VP, Finance at SPEA PFA)