Meet Pallavi, IEI’s New Hunt Intern

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) is pleased to announce that NC State University junior Pallavi Patil has been selected as the Hunt Intern for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Hunt Internship is a program for NC State undergraduates interested in a career in public policy and public service.

The Hunt Internship, now in its third year, is made possible through an endowment supported by Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr. and his wife, Carolyn. 

Major: Political Science (Public Policy Concentration)
Minors: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Global Health, and Nutrition
Graduation year: 2025
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Extracurricular activities/hobbies: I enjoy lots of hobbies! In particular, I love making pressed flower jewelry, cooking all different kinds of cuisines, and playing with my dog. My extracurricular activities include representing NC State students as an Assistant Director for Equity and Accessibility and participating in the Park Scholarships Program.

Q: What are your goals after you graduate?

A: I plan on taking a gap year to pursue a congressional or legal internship before attending law school to earn my J.D. I am still unsure of the exact type of law that I would like to practice; however, I am interested in immigration law, civil-rights law, and intellectual property law. After practicing law for a few years, I aspire to become a legal director of a social justice non-profit organization such as Planned Parenthood.

Q: What made you interested in the Hunt internship?

A: As a student concentrating in public policy, I was looking for an organization that could facilitate both the learning and application of policy, and the Hunt internship with the Institute for Emerging Issues perfectly fit the bill! Hearing from the Hunt interns of previous years describe their enriching experiences, unique opportunities, and appreciation for a supportive IEI community was very promising. The Hunt internship with IEI stood out to me in particular because of its unique focus on connecting different actors in the policy-making arena in a nonpartisan way. I was especially excited for the opportunity to contribute to and attend the annual Emerging Issues Forum that gathers leaders and stakeholders, up to the international level, to discuss challenges and opportunities for North Carolina.

Q: What do you hope to get out of this experience?

A: I hope to gain an understanding of how different agencies, interest groups, government structures, political atmospheres, public opinion, and public relations dynamically interact with one another to influence policy formulation and implementation in the state of North Carolina. I also aim to expand my network with important North Carolina policymakers and stakeholders that IEI engages with this school year.

Q: What do you believe is the biggest emerging issue facing our state?

A: North Carolina is currently facing many emerging social, economic, cultural, and political issues; however, I consider poor policy formulation to be the most pervasive emerging issue that our state is facing. Policy influences all aspects of life, from the printed expiration date on the cereal you eat in the morning to the price of your healthcare. Such influential rules that apply to all North Carolina residents should be well-thought out and based on extensive research and evidence combined with situational context. Instead, policy is often created primarily to fulfill political interests. While many of these political motivations are intended to be in the interest of the public, a rush to create policy without a full cost-benefit analysis based upon unbiased research results in merely performative and even inefficient or harmful policy that does not accomplish its intent. Poor policy formulation results in missed opportunities to maximize the benefits of a policy and minimize the costs. As a result, North Carolina experiences suboptimal outcomes when trying to improve our school systems, preserve the environment, increase the quality and accessibility of healthcare, generate jobs, maximize the potential benefit of social services, advocate for equality, and utilize federal resources. I encourage fellow North Carolinians to read about policies from a variety of sources before pledging support or opposition solely due to a political endorsement or partisan support. Further, when voting for North Carolina government officials, consider their policy propositions before their partisan affiliations.