Sana Johnson was an Undergraduate Public Service Scholar in 2016, when she interned at the Department of Justice in the Strategic Communications Office for the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

Where are you from?
St. Louis, Missouri 

Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I studied international relations and history at Boston University. 

What was the best part of your internship?
The best part of my internship was the people. I was nervous about working in such a large government office and did not know what to expect in terms of leadership and management. In the end, I could not have asked for a better team. I am still in touch with my former supervisors and coworkers, continuing to benefit from their mentorship and guidance.

What lessons did you learn that you would like to pass on to future interns?
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and the experience you want to have! I learned that most professionals understand the value of an internship and want to help interns get the most out of such a short work engagement. The earlier you become comfortable asking to tag along to meetings, events, and professional development opportunities, the more you will be able to do.

What are you doing now?
I am about halfway through a yearlong fellowship at the Work First Foundation. As a fellow, I help individuals who receive public assistance find employment, as well as conduct research on workforce development and urban poverty.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?
I hope to be working for an international humanitarian aid organization that specializes in crisis intervention. Through my current fellowship, I learned that I love working on program development and implementation, and I would love to do that at the international level.

What is your favorite book and what are you reading now?
I just started reading Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco, former deputy chief of staff to President Obama. Mastromonaco not only recounts hilarious stories from her time in the White House but also provides valuable insights for women and young people interested in politics. I would also recommend Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born a Crime. It’s just brilliant.

Tell us a fun fact!
Next year, I hope to pursue a master’s degree in international development in the U.K.; my top choice is the London School of Economics!

Leave a Reply