Amy Shim | 2019 | Interns

Amy Shim

Amy Shim (’21)

Camarillo, CA

Dana Mead Intern

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Comparative Media Studies Major

Pew Research Center

This summer I worked at Pew Research Center, a "fact tank" that strives to figure out what people think and present such data in a meaningful way, in order to contribute to civic discussions. I specifically worked on the Journalism & Media team. My team was a little short-staffed for the summer, which worked out well for me since I was able to touch a lot of different projects. I worked on a project surveying the state of the news media, tracked layoffs in the journalism industry, analyzed the various ways people consume news, and studied the changing levels of trust in news media.

Pew Research Center really prides itself on being a nonpartisan organization. It was interesting to experience a workplace so aggressively nonpartisan in the nation's capital - a decidedly political and partisan arena. While my coworkers never revealed their opinions on partisan issues, there was certainly an awareness of ongoing political conversations, and what questions the Center could help answer in order further those conversations. For example, while the Center would never make recommendations on technology policy, my team did publish a report on American attitudes toward misinformation and made-up news while I was an intern.

Overall my experience in D.C. was extremely thought-provoking and a nice change of pace from the tech industry. I really enjoyed talking to people who had spent many years thinking deeply about how people are informed and how that affects democracy. The MIT D.C. Program really opened my eyes to many career paths, in public service and elsewhere, that I am now considering for the future.