During her internship this summer at the Consumer Protection Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, Elizabeth “Biz” Chirco ’17 is seeing firsthand how the federal government works to protect consumers’ health, safety and financial wellbeing.
In Washington, D.C., Chirco is learning investigative techniques and trial building tools that will help her to determine whether “to be in a private practice or to do something with the federal government,” says Chirco, who has worked in a general practice defense attorney’s office for the past four years.
“I’ve always known that I want to be a lawyer, but I still don’t know what kind,” she explains. “I figured it was time to expand my horizons and work in different types of law offices to see what I like and where I can see myself fitting in.”
As a public policy major focusing on children and families, and a political science minor, Chirco’s coursework has helped her to think critically and analytically during her internship, she says. She cites Associate Professor of Political Science Paul Passavant’s “Constitutional Law” course for preparing her to navigate the complexities of legislation and the varying interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, and to understand how these interpretations affect companies and citizens.
Chirco notes that her preparation for the internship goes beyond the classroom.
“We are so lucky to have such a great career services office at HWS,” she says. “Ami Cammarota Ford ’00 and the entire staff helped me immensely throughout my entire internship search.”
President of the William Smith Class of 2017 and a goalie for the Herons field hockey team, Chirco studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, which she says taught her to adapt well to new environments, including the Department of Justice.
“There’s something to be said for being dropped into a new situation and having to figure out which way is up and how to navigate the new circumstances,” she says. “After living in a completely different country and culture, and traveling to other cultures every weekend, I now have the skills to adapt to any situation that is thrown at me.”