Summer Internships: Fiona Conway '25
Name: Fiona Conway
Class Year: 2025
Major: History and Political Science
Hometown: Takoma Park, Maryland
Internship Organization: Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice
Job Title: Summer Intern
Location: Washington, D.C.
What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
At OVW, I am working with three different programs within the office: the Performance, Assessment, Research, and Evaluation Program (PARE), the Rural Program, and the Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men Program (CYEM). PARE works with grantees to research and evaluate approaches to combat intimate partner violence (IPV). The Rural Program works with grantees to support victims of IPV in rural areas and address the unique factors that affect these victims, such as a lack of anonymity. The CYEM Program works with grantees to provide direct services to children affected by IPV and develop prevention strategies for boys and men. For PARE, I am reading and summarizing studies funded by OVW to be put on the OVW website. These studies cover a plethora of different topics related to IPV, such as the experiences of Latina immigrant victims of IPV and factors that compel police to make arrests in IPV cases. For the Rural Program, I am researching the presence of Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) in rural areas and making subsequent recommendations to OVW on how to increase the presence of SAFEs in rural areas. For the CYEM team, I am helping with administrative tasks, such as taking notes at listening sessions with grantees and helping set up a Microsoft Teams channel.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship because I am interested in issues that affect gender minorities, and domestic violence is an issue that I wanted to learn more in-depth about. I also had just taken a political science class, Bureaucracy and Democracy in America, about the federal civil service, and I wanted to get an up-close look at the workings of the federal government.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My favorite part of the internship is how much I have learned in a short amount of time. By getting to read OVW-funded research studies, I have learned about the effects of specialized police training, the experience of refugee victims, the impact of sober living homes on victims of IPV, and more. I am also very grateful to work in such a welcoming environment! I have had the opportunity to do some informational interviews with people working in different programs in the office, which has been great for both getting to know people and having a better understanding of the many different programs in OVW.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?
The biggest challenge I have faced at my internship is that I only go in one day a week to the office. In my previous summer internship, I did a lot of canvassing for my state delegate, so it was a big shift from an internship that was very interactive and completely in-person to an internship that is mostly remote and allows me to work independently. My days working at home were initially challenging as I found it hard to keep my focus, so I began going for short walks around my neighborhood, allowing me to take a quick break and come back ready to work. While strategies like this have helped me manage working remotely, this internship has shown me that, in the future, I would prefer an internship that is mostly or fully in-person.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.