With an abiding interest in public affairs and public policy, Jill Turner (AB public & international affairs, MPA public administration ’11) has made all the right moves – both on the University of Georgia campus and off – to prepare for her future.
The Honors student and Presidential Scholar began honing her policy skills with her involvement in the UGA chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, serving as the student-run think tank’s executive director her senior year, and she was also secretary-general of the Model United Nations Team.
And through a combined effort between the university’s Honors Program and the School of Public and International Affairs, Jill was able to complete credits for her master’s degree while pursuing her undergraduate diploma.
Away from campus, the Palladia and Blue Key Honor Society inductee received the Running Start/Wal-Mart Star Fellowship (which encourages young women seeking leadership roles in public service). Perhaps more importantly, however, Running Start enabled Jill to spend a semester in a senator's office in constituent services, where the public-service rubber meets the road.
“I interned in U.S. Senator Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) office in Washington, where I helped to manage and maintain legislative correspondence, served as the initial contact for constituents with requests and concerns, researched a variety of topics for staffers, and aided overall office performances,” Jill says.
“In addition to being involved with Running Start in DC, through which I had the pleasure of meeting several powerful and strong women involved in public service, I participated in UGA’s Washington Semester Program, which introduced me to notable UGA alumni.”
Jill somehow found time to work in UGA’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, which also strengthened her public-service skill set.
“My duties in the office were constantly changing, but the experience of interning has been both challenging and rewarding,” she says. “I have definitely learned valuable skills that will prepare me to work in the public sector one day.”
No doubt inspired by the 11th hour trip to Chicago she pulled off on Election Day in 2008 to celebrate then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s historic election as president, Jill says she looks forward to the challenges of her chosen career.
“I like the idea that I can work effectively in a field that I am very passionate about and contribute directly to the well-being of the public,” she says. “I would like to devote my career to finding solutions to several challenging issues through public policy and public administration. The things I am most interested in are education and women’s rights, and I would love to find a way to better these things through my work in the public sector.”
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