Government agencies are often known for rigorous forms and processes. Through interning at the Government Accountability Agency in Washington, D.C., Kaleb Mount, a double major in germanic studies and law and public policy, learned that these ‘sometimes annoying features of the workplace’ are so essential.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is a legislative branch government agency that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the United States Congress. It is the supreme audit institution of the federal government of the United States. Kaleb was able to support a team that investigated ‘Maritime Shipping in the Arctic’ in data collection.
“I grew immensely over the course of this internship,” Kaleb said. “Professionally, I learned valuable skills in communication and analysis that will benefit me in the line of work I plan to pursue.”
Kaleb was able to lead some interviews with business leaders, federal government executives, and local Alaskan stakeholders to gather data and then analysis and synthesis of the information. Using academic literature, federal policy documents, and initial interviews, he conducted a qualitative factor analysis to help identify what might be driving changes in Arctic maritime traffic.
He saw his skills develop in a short amount of time.
“My writing became more clear and concise. I got progressively better at prioritizing various tasks and managing my time well,” he said. “I also personally developed, as I began to feel more confident in my skills. I saw how IU has prepared me to succeed in a professional environment.”
Eventually, the report he worked on will be published and distributed to members of Congress.
“It was also rewarding to speak with a variety of stakeholders who care very deeply about this topic. I had the chance to talk to many people who are both extremely good at their jobs and extremely passionate about what they do,” Kaleb said.
However, Kaleb does wish that he had been more outgoing with his co-workers.
“I should have spent more time speaking with others over coffee or lunch. I realize now that there is so much to learn from those who are at different points in their career than I am,” he said.