The recently concluded second edition of the CIVICA-Google Policy Summer Institute successfully provided first-generation university students with invaluable professional experience at the intersection of government affairs and digital public policy.
Jyotismita Khataniar one of our MSc Political Sociology students shares her experience and highlights what she learnt below ↓
What attracted you to this programme?
I decided to apply to the CIVICA Google Policy Summer Institute because it offered a unique opportunity to dive into the world of tech policy and government affairs. What attracted me most to this program was the chance to learn from renowned experts, collaborate with like-minded individuals, and engage in a dynamic and creative application process. The application required a short video essay, which allowed me to express my creativity and made the process enjoyable.
How did you find this experience and what did you enjoy the most?
My experience with the programme was truly exceptional. What I enjoyed the most was the depth of knowledge and expertise shared by the instructors and fellow participants. The discussions and workshops were intellectually stimulating, and I appreciated the interactive and engaging nature of the programme. I had the privilege of being mentored by Michaela Neild at Google, who provided invaluable guidance and insights into the professional policy world. The entire Google team, including Carly Tonkins and Chaz Khera, were incredibly supportive and welcoming. I had the opportunity to work at the Google office in Central Saint Giles, London, and participate in policy training that deepened my understanding of Google's role in the tech policy landscape. Additionally, I was placed at iNHouse Communications in Westminster, where I had a fantastic internship experience, collaborated with a brilliant team, and forged lasting connections. The highlight of my experience was the visit to the Parliament organised by the Google team.
What is your main takeaway from attending this?
One big takeaway from attending the CIVICA Google Policy Summer Institute is that tech policy is a fascinating and impactful field, especially in our digital world. During the program, I had the chance to dive deep into the intersection of policy, technology, and society. It really expanded my understanding of these complex dynamics and gave me practical skills to apply to my academic pursuits. This experience also reinforced my passion for policy research and advocacy, sparking my curiosity about public and government affairs. I am now more motivated than ever to explore these areas in my future career.
What has been the most interesting and revealing part of this experience?
One of the most interesting and eye-opening aspects of this experience was working on real policy challenges. Collaborating with peers from diverse backgrounds brought forth a multitude of perspectives, leading to innovative solutions and a deeper appreciation for the complexities of policy-making in the digital age. Additionally, getting to work with a diverse range of stakeholders was incredibly exciting. I had the privilege of interacting with MPs, journalists, and policy professionals, which enriched my understanding of the policy landscape.
How does it fit in with your broader objectives and learning at LSE?
This experience seamlessly fits into my broader goals and my academic journey at LSE. As a master's student in Political Sociology at the LSE, I was already deeply engaged in the study of world politics. Participating in the CIVICA Google Policy Summer Institute allowed me to see real-world politics in action, complementing and enhancing my coursework. It added a practical dimension to my theoretical knowledge, making me better equipped to analyse and address contemporary policy issues effectively. This experience deepened my interest in politics and gave me a nuanced understanding of the real world.
Why should future students take part in this opportunity?
I highly recommend future students seize the opportunity to participate in the CIVICA Google Policy Summer Institute. In a short period, you can acquire valuable skills for the real world, forge meaningful connections, and gain insights into the fast-paced field of tech policy. It is an incredible way for LSE students to make the most of their summers, which opens doors to a wealth of knowledge and experiences.
See more opportunities to engage with CIVICA here.