Career Connections

Brianna Hatfield
Major: Child, Adult, and Family Services
Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Polk City, IA

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Child & Family Policy Center
Company/Organization website:
Title: Research Analysis and Data Evaluation Intern
Destination: Des Moines, IA
Timeframe: June 1- July 29 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
• Review, summarize, and synthesize research and knowledge related to different child and family issues, with a particular focus upon children’s health and development • Work with and aid the Policy Analysis and Director of Research and Advocacy to fulfill requirements of research and evaluation focused contracts/grants, including project design, data collection, reporting of findings, and data analysis

I accomplished...
I feel everything I have done here has been a accomplishment for me. I never thought I would have been given this amazing opportunity. I have learned so much. I think my greatest accomplishment would be working on the 1st Five project and meeting the Governor.

My most valuable effort...
I believe the most valuable project I have worked on is the 1st Five Project. The 1st Five model supports health providers in the earlier detection of social-emotional and developmental delays and family risk-related factors in children birth to 5 and coordinates referrals, interventions and follow-up. I have been put in charge in gathering new data as well as using a randomized database to choose families to question about their views of 1st Five. This helps us change or implement new things for the upcoming new fiscal year. I feel it's really cool that I have helped work on a program that really makes a difference.

I learned...
Honestly, I feel everything I have learned has been very valuable. But I think the best learning experience by far has been to understand how policy works and how much time it takes to get things done. Before I was naïve and I thought it couldn't be that hard and people just didn't care that much. I was definitely wrong and I really appreciate what everyone does in this field. To make changes it takes time.

I will never forget...
Watching the governor sign the Children's Mental Health Proclamation and shaking his hand was the most memorable experience. I will never forget it.

A surprising discovery...
I didn't expect there to be so many different organizations in this state and other states to be working on the same issues as the Child and Family Policy Center does. It really surprised me by how many people truly care.

Advice for others...
Don't wait until the last minute. Do your research, really look into organizations. If they don't show a internship on the website, still ask! Pick a internship that intrigues you. Don't settle for something that sounds easy. Find something that can open doors for you.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I did a lot of research. I was not wanting or willing to work hands on with kids and families. I can't do it, I knew I had to do my work behind the scenes. So I searched and searched and put my name out there to many different policy organizations. Luckily this organization believed I could help and learn something. It's been a great experience.

I landed this assignment by...
When you want something bad enough, you have to sell yourself. You need that organization to want you and think your valuable. That's what I did, I emailed back and forth with my supervisor. When we met in person it was a done deal, I had the internship.

I wanted this experience because...
I gained interest in policy my last semester of school. It intrigued me and I wanted to learn more. After learning about this organization and all that they do, I knew I had to have it. I also wanted a internship that would look good on my resume and open doors for me.

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