Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Town Square of the 21st Century | Week 4

Michael McKenzie

24 July 2016

It’s been a month in the US, and I feel it’s safe to say here my time here has facilitated significant learning and engendered much excitement.

The feeling I get knowing that I’m beyond halfway through my journey is met with mixed emotions. I know too soon I’ll be moving away from the exciting work and friends I’ve made. However, each day now reminds me of how grateful I am to be a part of this experience and with the people that surround it.

Writing Center instead of Centre is still a struggle

I would like to use this blog to take the opportunity to explain in greater detail my role within the Mackinac Center and what I’ve been doing with the VoteSpotter app.

Briefly, the originality of VoteSpotter’s concept is something that’s incredibly exciting. The idea of being updated on your State and Federal representatives every vote and being able to relay your thoughts on their decision about it within a single app is pretty neat. But furthermore the power of the data collected and it’s specificness is something I’ve both worked on and been intrigued in.

Currently, VoteSpotter is on the cusp of a massive wave of growth and being on the inside of its small and sparse team is an overwhelmingly positive learning experience.

My primary project has been to oversee the creation and update our new blogging forum. I have been working with our graphic designers and IT department to create the new blogging portal called VoteSpotter Community. I’ve had the task of writing articles and backdating previous Facebook posts onto the page. Although it is still in its primary stage, I imagine with some additional features it could become an analytical hub for users to debate and condition their ideas on policies. The page is linked numerous times on the VoteSpotter Facebook page and has received significant attention due to the RNC convention.

Promotional material at its finest

During the past week, I attended the quarterly brainstorm meeting that lasted for a full day. Meeting nearly the whole team in person was a pleasurable experience as it brought in both the electronic resources and marketing teams. While I sat in the board room taking notes I couldn’t help but get a great sense of appreciation rush through me. Being given the opportunity to attend such well organised and intellectually thought out meeting at my age is a strength I will inevitably draw on later in life. After the conclusion of the meeting, myself and the team went out and ordered an excessive amount of sushi to wrap up the day.

Testing the acoustics

Outside the office, I’ve begun riding my bike to work and playing a bit of ultimate frisbee. I’ve also managed to delve into a few books during my time in Midland and currently looking for some recommendations! Now out of those three pursuits, I’m thankful that at least two are combating my one month intake of American size food.

Disclaimer: Heavily staged photo

To conclude, although this week had no real jaw-dropping moments I have to say it’s satisfying simply progressing through my work and learning from it. I look forward to future trials that await!

Next week check out my article describing the presumptive Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine and his policy stances.

Comments are closed.