Consulting for the Public Sector

Olivia Lee, COL ’25, Boston, MA

This summer, I had the privilege of working on a variety of projects in both the public and private sector through my internship at Zilo International Group. As a PPE major with a concentration in public policy and governance, I loved being able to see how both sides complemented each other to support a common goal, such as community engagement or safety.

One of the projects I found most rewarding was with a Council of Governments in Oregon, who wanted to research the feasibility and effectiveness of a bias response system to combat bias incidents in their community. We heard from members of the community about their experiences, and performed comprehensive research on different methods to combat the incidents of discrimination these community members had faced. The team developed six recommendations with actionable and specific strategies which have now begun to be implemented. While working with the COGs, local organizations, and community leaders, I saw first-hand the importance of each stakeholders’ role. It was an experience that cemented my commitment to work with people, for people, and refreshed my interest in public policy.

This experience taught me so much about the enormous role consultants have in a number of industries. In addition, I was able to learn many technical skills such as handling large datasets in Excel. I hope to learn more in the future about the use of data and how to best analyze and visualize large datasets. All in all, each challenge I faced and every obstacle I overcame allowed me to grow rapidly this summer both professionally and personally. I am so grateful to have worked alongside and under the guidance of such hardworking and talented mentors and peers — all of which would not have been possible without the opportunities I was rewarded through Penn’s Career Services and Student Financial and Registration Services.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services