My name is Rachel Shanahan, and I am working for the Undersecretary, Rachel Madden, this summer. I applied to the Ward Fellowship because I really enjoy learning about government and politics. This realization did not really hit me until the beginning of junior year, as I had always envisioned myself studying biology or neuroscience in college. But after taking AP Biology, I realized that, just maybe, it wasn’t the right path for me. As my excitement towards this Fellowship only continues to grow, and my appreciation for government continues to develop, I have begun to seriously consider the possibility of working in government or international affairs in the future.

I spent the past summer with my cousin who works in the United Nations as an information systems officer. A major part of the job requires traveling to different countries where UN headquarters are stationed, many in Africa and Europe. After hearing about the way the UN functions and how interesting her work seemed, I joined the Model UN club at my school. I ended up really enjoying it, and I went on to compete in several conferences, representing places such as Qatar, Lithuania, and Palestine. The interest that I found in Model UN was what motivated me to apply to the Ward Fellowship. I’m looking to possibly study international relations in the future, and I believe that Ward will give me an opportunity to experience first-hand what it’s like to work in a legislative and professional environment.

Having spent my entire life in Boston, I’m particularly interested in learning about what helps our city function properly, and how we, as individuals, are able to make an impact. I believe that the Ward fellowship will provide me a unique opportunity to learn about aspects of our government in an interesting way. Learning about any part of such a process will help me understand the complicated world of national and international politics better. As a fellow for Rachel Madden, I’m excited to learn about the budget because I know that it something that is integral to the process that helps our city properly function.

One cool fact about me is that I love fashion design. I enjoy drawing designs on paper, and then sewing them into pieces of clothing. I hope that this summer will be a way for me to widen my horizons, in terms of my perspective about all the different careers there are, and the number of ways that one can be successful. I’m excited to meet new people and learn new things, and witness the decisions that impact all of our daily lives.