Humphrey School News—March 3, 2020

Junior Summer Institute: A Career Starter


Head shots of two JSI alumni - Tenzin Dhakong and Ruby DeBellis
JSI alumni Tenzin Dhakong, left, and Ruby DeBellis.

Nearly two dozen college students from around the country will come to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs this summer to explore their budding interest in public policy through the Junior Summer Institute (JSI).

JSI, a rigorous seven-week academic and experiential learning program that prepares undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to thrive in graduate programs and launch careers in public service, is made possible through a partnership with the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA).

This is the fourth year in a row that the University of Minnesota is hosting a JSI cohort, which got us thinking: What impact has the JSI program had on previous participants? We posed the question to these two JSI alumni:

Ruby DeBellis, 2017 (Cohort 1)
Current position: Constituent advocate and internship coordinator, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Minneapolis office

JSI shaped my future plans by introducing me to a wide range of career paths. I knew I wanted to be a public servant, but wasn't sure how. With my JSI experience, I was able to get an internship with the City of Morris my senior year, and they actually trusted my skills enough to have me create the city's first-ever communications policy. The policy was adopted in May of 2018, right before I graduated from U of M Morris. Seeing my JSI knowledge put into action in this way was extremely rewarding.

Tenzin Dhakong, 2018 (Cohort 2)
Current position: AmeriCorps Public Ally, Wilder Foundation

After completing the JSI program, I had the opportunity to work with one of my political science professors on research around neoliberalism in the United States. JSI helped me hone my research skills, and I know that experience played a heavy role in getting me this opportunity. In addition, JSI gave me the chance to learn and interact with professors from a wide range of focuses. These interactions gave me clarity on where my passions lie and played an impactful role in my journey to public service.

The Humphrey School will welcome its next cohort of JSI fellows in June. The University of Minnesota is one of five institutions across the country to host a JSI, which is fully funded and often leads to generous financial aid packages at participating schools. The others are Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Learn more about the Junior Summer Institute.

Office of Communications

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
300G Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455