Meagan Smith: Executive Office of Elder Affairs

1) Please introduce yourself (name, year, concentration, activities or positions you might hold here at Heller):

Hi all! My name is Meagan Smith and I am a second year MPP student concentrating in health and aging policy. While at Heller, I have enjoyed working with Neighbors Who Care, a non-profit organization in Waltham focusing on alleviating isolation and loneliness for elders, and helping to build a long-lasting partnership between them and the MPP Student Association. I have also recently joined the Brandeis Graduate Christian Fellowship.

2) Where did you intern for the summer, what city were you located in, and what were you doing?

I was a Stephen B. Kay Fellow in Healthy Aging at the Executive Office of Elder Affairs in Boston, MA this summer. I had three main projects while at EOEA. I spent the majority of my summer working on my project for the Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program (MFCSP). I also worked on a housing research project as well as a comparative project for SCO, PACE, and One Care contracts. I loved working at EOEA; it was a truly wonderful experience.

3) Why did you choose this particular internship?

There were so many reasons why I wanted to work at EOEA. I have always wanted to work within the government, particularly federal or state government so I was ecstatic about this opportunity. I also have a real passion for aging policy, particularly with the intersection of health policy, and wanted my summer internship to center on that so I could learn more about the field.

4) What skills did you use (can be something you learned at Heller or something you did at a previous job)?

I found Dr. Fourneir’s Applied Regression Analysis and Applied Econometrics courses to be most helpful in preparing me for my internship. In those courses, I learned how to work with large data sets and started to build a good foundation for future work. I definitely felt a lot more confident walking into my internship because of that and was able to continue my learning on the job. My first year in the MPP program also helped to sharpen my presentation skills and speaking style. Such continued practice helped me when I presented at the MFCSP statewide meeting in August.

5) How do you see this internship fitting into your wider career goals and helping you at Heller moving forward?

Both my confidence and passion in my work have grown a lot after my time at EOEA. I am entering my second year at Heller with a lot of excitement and optimism for the future. After working at EOEA, I am even more certain that I want to pursue a job in the government after graduation.

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