Senior Miles Taylor was recently named the University’s first Presidential Student Intern, but that doesn’t mean he will be fetching IU President Michael McRobbie coffee or making copies.
“But I’d be happy to,” he said, laughing.
Instead, Taylor will be working closely with the IU Office of the Vice President for Planning and Policy to develop an emergency plan to help IU policy makers know what to do during a crisis.
Taylor said he got to know McRobbie through the IU Board of Aeons, which works with the President’s office. He said he was offered the new position in the summer because of his credentials.
The political science and international security major said he probably spent about equal time in Washington and Bloomington throughout his college experience.
He worked as an intern at the office of Vice President Dick Cheney as well as the Department of Homeland Security.
He said these experiences, especially his work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, helped him see how emergency management worked on a
national scale, and he said he hopes to bring this perspective to his new position.
“Getting the opportunity to look at emergency management broadly in Washington, D.C. helped me to understand some of the tactical issues IU faces,” he said.
Taylor said the position is demanding, and he has tried to put in about the same amount of hours as a part-time job, balancing the position with classes.
Despite this, he said he sees the position as an excellent opportunity to make an impact at IU as well as gain skills for a future in government and public service.
“This is the busiest, toughest, but most exciting semester of my time at IU. It’s a good way to cap off my four years in Bloomington,” he said. “I get to take the skills and knowledge I’ve learned and hopefully bring them to bear at the university level.”
Taylor said he plans to continue the position until the end of the semester, when he will begin traveling abroad in London.
He said he hopes the University will continue the position, allowing students to apply their academic focuses to the experience as well as give back to the University.
“For most students, I think the University is an opaque concept. They come here, take classes for four years and leave without ever really getting the chance to understand how this massive organization really works,” Taylor said.
“I hope to get a better perspective on that in the President’s Office. If I can focus on a piece of the IU system – and use what I know to improve it in some small measure – I’ll be happy.”
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