Rutgers Logo Rutgers University
Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics

For Students

Why Become Part of Eagleton?

Recent Fellows & Undergraduate Associates Share Their Experiences

Comments from recent Eagleton Fellows:

"The program was amazing overall. It opened my eyes to a great deal of experience and broadened my understanding of politics on every level."

"I loved every aspect of the fellowship program. I recommend it to all Rutgers students that have even a slight interest in the world of politics."

"I enjoyed very much the course in the fall. Hearing from two veteran Trentonians, from opposing parties, was very interesting. The relationships I made, both in and out of the classroom, were invaluable."

"I can honestly say my Eagleton experience was the best part of my law school adventure."

"In observing the legislative process behind the scenes through my placement I got a real taste of what it takes to be a legislator."

"I really enjoyed the dinners with Visiting Associates. I was able to have real conversations with movers and shakers, hear about their experiences, and make substantive contacts. I felt privileged to have had a seat at the table."

"The Visiting Associates dinner is where I gained the most insight and valuable interactions with some of New Jersey's most accomplished lobbyists, policy advisors and thinkers, political players and public servants. Eagleton excels as a gateway between young aspiring professionals with a penchant for public or political engagement and those who have had a life full of experience toward that end. In addition, the Institute understands the kind of environment that these personalities tend to flourish in – so they facilitate precisely that."

"Thank you for the opportunity, it was a great experience. Eagleton knows what it is doing. I hold the place in very high regard."

"I liked the monthly sessions best. I found it was helpful and enjoyable to learn about other fellows placement experiences and issues they faced while there. I also really liked the Annapolis trip because of the completely different manner in which Maryland does things compared to New Jersey."

"I found the entire experience to be so amazing. The most valuable part was how much I felt the program invested into each of us and how special I felt as a result. There were so many amazing events to go to and I really enjoyed the different speakers, including Bill Baroni. I also thought Eagleton did a great job of picking out my class, there was so much diversity in terms of programs, gender, race, previous work experience, etc., including having the sciences and other countries represented."

"Thank you so much to Eagleton for providing me this amazing opportunity."

"I really enjoyed the Legislative Policymaking course with Professor Rosenthal and the Eagleton sessions. Overall the fellowship program was a great experience!"

"Overall, I really enjoyed the internship experience. It gave me a good sense of how policymaking works in New Jersey and everyone I worked with was incredibly friendly and helpful."

"The Fellowship was a great opportunity for me, especially due to my lack of formal policy background. As a scientist, I was able to mingle with many non-science orientated students with a variety of interests outside of my own. In addition, the Eagleton Seminar in the fall and various Eagleton events allowed me to become more acutely aware of current political events and politics affecting both the country and state of NJ. I also developed a broader understanding of how policies are passed and utilized in the state of NJ."

"I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Eagleton. I learned a great deal from the classes and any guest speakers in class, Annapolis and casual conversations with visiting associates. I thought all events were comfortable, yet classy and was blown away at how well each event ran. Even though I know a great deal of time and effort went into each event, the events were executed effortlessly and smoothly. I found everyone at Eagleton to be extremely kind, friendly and helpful and hope to stay connected in the future. I appreciated the helpful advice I received from Alan and John and the incredible communication and organization of Sarah. Although not directly an "Eagleton" experience, my trip to D.C. with Ruth Mandel's class was if not life-changing (TBD), it was extremely inspiring."

"My placement in the Senate Republican Office was the best and most valuable part of the Fellowship program. I gained a lot of valuable insight into NJ politics and made some very good friends in the process."

"The Fellowship presented an excellent opportunity to discuss matters related to state and federal government and politics with students from a diverse array of academic backgrounds. I especially enjoyed the Annapolis trip, the Eagleton seminar, and the monthly sessions featuring Heather Howard and David Rosen."

"Best part of the fellowship was sharing ideas with people who share the same interests and passion as me. I gained a good behind the scenes look at the legislative process."

"I enjoyed the Eagleton Seminar class, learning about the concepts that supposedly characterize government or the leaders in government, and then having the opportunity to witness such concepts and people first hand."

"My internship was an awesome experience. I could not have requested a better placement."

"Nearly every experience at Eagleton has been invaluable. I thoroughly enjoyed the small-group, interactive environment fostered by our seminar instructors, who were imminently qualified, engaged and interested in our success. To sit with experiences professionals like Pete McDonough and Joe Doria was a real pleasure. The real-world application of our studies in our placement offices was perhaps the best experience overall and in a difficult job market, this opportunity was probably the most significant."

"I loved the networking opportunities that the Fellowship Program has provided. If it were not for my participation in the program I would not have been directly exposed to those currently practicing in my field, whereas now I am graduating with real life experience and contacts." In all honesty it is hard to quantify what I like best because the experience has been great and a highlight of my educational career at Rutgers."

"To be honest, Eagleton prepared me very well for the experience of working in state government. I was impressed by the skills I developed that help me better understand how the political culture of the state affects the climate within the Executive Branch. Overall, I would say that Eagleton has been a great experience that throughout the year has supplemented all the experiences with the needed educational components."

"I liked that we actually learned something that was useful for people who want to stay involved with their state legislatures – it wasn't just a course about why politicians ruin everything, but instead it was refreshing to have discussion focused on the good parts of our political process and what people encounter when they get involved."

"Overall this was my favorite experience while at Rutgers. This program solidified my desire to stay involved with New Jersey politics in any way possible."

"It was great to finally get some real work experience in the NJ legislature, especially after having done a lot of other internships that didn't assign as much substantive work."


Fellow Internship supervisor quotes:

"Having an Eagleton Fellow spend time in our state government office was mutually beneficial. We were able to interact with a smart graduate student with interesting ideas and new perspectives, and I hope we were able to provide a challenging set of issues for the Fellow to research and learn about."

"The fellow managed work gracefully, contributed hugely, probed with great questions, researched areas that needed more information, and was a great asset to the office."

"The Fellow's work left a lasting impact on our office and places them in our top five outstanding interns we have had in the past 10 years. Their passion for understanding government policy and principles is evident in their work. Additionally, they went above and beyond by volunteering to assist my staff in our initiatives and community events. The fellow is unique in that they not only have a quick learning style and the intelligence to contribute meaningful work, but they also have a very warm and energetic personality that will truly be missed."

"The fellow was very attuned to politics and often spoke with passion about current events, legislation, and Supreme Court matters."

"It was a pleasure to work with the Eagleton fellow who was intelligent, hard-working, and showed a tremendous amount of interest in the assignments they handled. In one particular matter, their creative investigative work led to the discovery of information indicating a substantial and ongoing ethics problem which is the subject of an ongoing investigation."


Comments from Recent Eagleton Undergraduate Associates:

"The guest lecturers during all three courses offered great insights into government. I also enjoyed the group projects because we all learned a lot."

"I love the level of camaraderie and intellectual engagement that the Associates program created."

"I had an amazing experience during my internship in the Assembly Democrats office in Trenton. I got to know a lot of great people and learned so much about NJ government."

"I enjoyed the opportunity of working with other students interested in politics and government along with interesting and enthusiastic professors and staff."

"The faculty, staff and fellow students provided me with the most rewarding memories of the program. Everyone here is top notch!"

"I really loved the guest speakers – I thought that they were all very excellent and it gave me a very different perspective about politics."

"Meeting with top state government leaders and access to these individuals is priceless."

"Meeting other associates and having a good relationship with Eagleton faculty is what I liked best. I felt that I had a great network and developed good relationships with both students and professors. The staff was always fantastic – quick to help and respond to any questions I might have had."

"The best aspect of the Associates program was the internship placement. It was great to enter an internship as a representative of the Associates program and … be able to network with other Eagleton alumni in the Governor's Office."

"I most enjoyed the relationships I was able to build during these last 3 semesters and the welcoming class environment and enriching staff."

"I thought the internship and the internship class was great because it really allowed for you to learn on the job."

"Best experience of my undergraduate career. No competition."

"Being in the company of extremely smart peers, the discussions we've had in this experience have taught me more than any other course at Rutgers. The discussions during the seminar, and the out-of-class Eagleton talks and events were the most valuable parts of this experience. I learned so much!"

"Most valuable were the connections (both student and professional) and the education (much more advanced than regular classes)."

"I really enjoyed the classes, particularly Prof. Levine's class, because they were entertaining and very informative. I have learned more about politics and government than I'd ever thought I'd know! The guest lecturers and program lunches were great."

"I greatly enjoyed the breadth of academic work that was provided in each class. I also became good friends with many of my classmates."

"The guest speakers gave the class a "real feel" and familiarized everyone with the various components of state and local government and the importance of both."

"Most valuable was the ability to meet with established political professionals and learn about their experiences on the road to success. In addition, the ability to network with these people and secure positions for my own future was an equally valuable part."

"I enjoyed the class conversations and informal lunch conversations the most. Besides the food, the true value was sitting down with professors and classmates outside of the standard classroom. I fells as though I learn better with true conversations rather than lectures."

"I most enjoyed the camaraderie and opportunities that all the people in the organization offered."

"I loved my experience in the UA program! The best and most valuable aspect of the program was the access to faculty and key players in the NJ political arena."

"The Associates program was very well planned and encompassed a wide-range of topics. What I most enjoyed, however, was the dynamic of the class. I think that each student contributed to the lessons and we became like a family. Being so close allowed us to voice our concerns and views on certain political issues, and respect each other for doing so. I found the internship the most valuable component. Although I had done many internships at that point, I had yet to work for a government agency and I thought that Eagleton did a wonderful job in helping me secure the internship at the Department of Education."