RIPPAC holds its first open house with Freeholder Bill Moen

Rowan Alumni Bill Moen speaks to students at the RIPPAC open house on the steps required to obtain a career in politics. Photo by Dmitri Torpey.

On Tuesday evening, the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship (RIPPAC) hosted an open house event for returning members to the group and anyone interested in getting involved in the field of politics as a potential career.

The event featured special guest Bill Moen, who graduated from Rowan in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Moen, who currently works for the office of Senator Cory Booker and is a candidate for New Jersey state assembly, talked to the event’s guests about how careers in public service can be made more obtainable through RIPPAC, and the steps it took to get to the position he is in today.

One topic Moen stressed during his talk was the importance of internships as a means of advancing your career options in the political field.

Moen’s advice to students looking for a career in politics was to, “Use the time you have as an undergraduate student, to do as many internships… as possible.”

Luckily for students interested in a career in the field of politics, one of the main goals of RIPPAC is to equip students with internships that will help lead to a career in the field. Many places in the field of politics offer internships through RIPPAC, and the students involved with the group are encouraged heavily to take advantage of as many of them as possible.

Senior political science major Jacob White explains the importance of the program.

“RIPPAC helped me get my internship this summer,” White said. “For Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso.”

The internships in the field, which can be obtained through RIPPAC, are considered a necessity to anyone attempting to work in politics in the future. Being in the program can also be extremely beneficial, as it presents students with numerous internship opportunities.

The founding director of RIPPAC Ben Dworkin had this to say about RIPPAC participation.

“You’re not going to get the job if you’ve only done one internship,” Dworkin said. “[Employers] are looking for people who have done a couple.”

Along with helping students obtain internships, RIPPAC also rewards some students with intern scholarships as a way to make interning less of a financial strain.

Dworkin said, “This year we provided over 10,000 dollars in intern scholarships,” Dworkin continued. “It’s a way to help [students] afford to be able to take advantage of opportunities.”

Returning members of RIPPAC understand just how great of a tool the program is for those looking to get into the political field as a career.

Sophomore political science major Alexander Wilson said, “It’s great if you want to get your foot in the door for anywhere career-wise.”

The relatively new program, which started in Jan. 2018, also talked about some of their goals for the year at the meeting.

In addition to continuing to be “involved in training and helping people… in applied politics,” Dworkin said. “We’re going to get more involved in the policy space, through ‘mini-conferences about specific issues.”

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