As one of several students interning in Washington, D.C., this summer, Kelsey Bair ’11 has her hands full. She is interning with the Podesta Group, the top bipartisan lobbying firm in the District of Columbia.
Bair works closely with government-related issues and news. The Podesta Group takes on a wide scope of clients, ranging from corporations such as Heineken to whole countries such as the Republic of Georgia. The lobbying group acts as a representative by working for its clients’ interests in the nation’s capital. Podesta is a unique lobbying firm in that it is one of only a few in D.C. to focus on government relations, but also have a public affairs branch. While the firm helps clients with policymaking and legislation, it can also help with public relations and political strategizing.
Bair is mainly working in the health care sector of the Podesta Group. Every day she checks for health news headlines from major reporting sources and sends out information about any she finds. Her job also entails attending hearings, conducting various research projects and interacting with clients.
“I am doing real work for the company and not just research and filling out forms. I write memos that get sent to clients, so I am an actual asset to the company, and I like knowing that,” says Bair.
She believes the experience will serve her well in her future. She hopes to pursue a career in lobbying or public relations and appreciates the internship, and the company itself, combines both. Podesta also has a good reputation in Washington.
“Its name is so highly-regarded as being a bipartisan group. I like that I am not affiliated with one party or another. I am not confined to one group, so I have a lot of open options for the future,” says Bair.
In obtaining the internship Bair applyied to the top lobbying firms in D.C. and luckily struck the right note with Podesta. She also contacted Kate Bardsley ’08 through the Colleges’ alumni network. Bardsley works for Podesta and helped her with the application process.
Bair, who hails from Cranbury, N.J., is a double major in political science and American studies and also plays club rugby.