During Shelby Beck’s last semester as a UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) student, she completed an environmental policy internship. Through Florida Sea Grant and Loop Legislative Internship funding, Beck interned with the University of Florida’s Office of Federal Relations (UFFR).
Beck, who majored in environmental science, has a history of interning with public service offices. Earlier in her undergraduate career, Beck worked in Orange County Commissioner Nicole Wilson’s office. Beck felt like she was able to make a tangible difference, which inspired her to further pursue policy work.
After her time under Commissioner Wilson, Beck wanted to combine her love for public service with her coursework. Beck found this opportunity to advocate for the SeaGrant Program through the Washington D.C. Internship Program. This program is sponsored by the UFFR and UF Bob Graham Center.
As an intern, Beck’s responsibilities included attending congressional hearings and reporting back to UFFR. This task allowed Beck to gain a comprehensive understanding of policy formation and government operations.
Beck also spent time analyzing and outlining bills. This assignment required her to learn how to read policy documents, condense high volumes of information, and interpret political jargon. Beck noted this task prepared her for working in policy.
“This skill was invaluable in comprehending the nuances of policy and proved beneficial when engaging in discussions and advocating for effective policy solutions,” said Beck.
Like many other legislative interns, Beck grew her professional network immensely while on Capitol Hill. She collaborated with interns, office staff, and legislators throughout the summer on several projects, including Gator Day.
“Through various networking events and meetings, I learned the art of making meaningful connections, forging relationships, and cultivating a strong professional network,” said Beck.
Through Beck’s hard work and networking, she secured a job opportunity before leaving the Capitol. She was offered a job with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and later one with the UFFR. She is now working in Washington, D.C. as Federal Relations Associate with the UFFR.
“As I continue my career in environmental policy, I am grateful for the opportunities and insights this internship provided, solidifying my commitment to addressing pressing environmental challenges and contributing to a better future for all,” said Beck.
Loop Legislative Internship funding is part of the VP Promise, an initiative to provide financial assistance for students pursuing experiences in agriculture, life sciences and natural resources. CALS supports student success both inside and outside of the classroom and encourages students to broaden their perspectives through enriching opportunities such as study abroad programs and travel to conferences. For more information on the VP Promise visit the CALS website.