Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Michigan with a Mission | Week 1

Michael McKenzie

2 July 2016

Touchdown in the city of Chicago IL!

Arriving in the morning one night of rest was all I had prior to my bus ride to Midland Michigan and I wanted to see, smell and do as much as possible before then.

Traversing the Windy City was an experience in itself. Taking in the excessive use of horns and fast paced people pasted against a sublime skyline was a stupendous sight. My fondest memories of Chicago include the Field Museum’s terracotta army exhibit and the large array of Chicago style hot dogs I consumed to stave off my jet lag.

The Field Museum

Upon my arrival to Michigan, I met up with my host family of whom I contacted through the Mackinac Centre. The Cammenga family have been exceedingly hospitable towards me and I will be forever grateful for their generosity to take me into their home. Living in a truly American household has given me quite a lot of insight into the ‘in and outs’ of American culture. Namely the wide variety of cereals available for breakfast. Great to see free market competition at its finest!

Nonetheless, my time with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy began early on a crisp Michigan morning. On arrival at the office I was led to my cubicle with a welcoming agenda laying flat atop the desktop. The morning consisted of preparatory network and security training followed by a headshot photo.

At noon that day Mackinac ran an ‘Intern University’ where not only did I meet other interns but was introduced to the values and culture of the policy center. The Vice President and Director of Research spoke about the attitudes and approach that founded the Mackinac Center in 1987 and has sustained its influential policy direction to this day.

The front office of the Mackinac Center

I have been assigned to the VoteSpotter project which is an innovative program designed to connect Americans with their representatives. I will outline more of what I’m doing with the project in next weeks post however I highly recommend downloading the app and experiencing it firsthand.

With my first week of work in America tackled I’m looking forward to celebrating the 4th of July and all future opportunities here in the US!

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