Majors: Economics and political science
Year: Class of 2023
When she was unsure what career path she wanted to pursue as a first-year student at Case Western Reserve, Ingrid Gillies received valuable advice from a mentor: get experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Now a rising junior, Gillies is doing just that.
After an internship in the public sector with the U.S. Department of Commerce last fall, Gillies shifted focus to the nonprofit sector as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Summer Internship Program.
Through the program—which seeks to connect small nonprofits with paid interns the organizations otherwise would not be able to support—Gillies was matched with the Deepwood Foundation, a nonprofit out of Lake County that empowers individuals with developmental disabilities.
As an intern, Gillies has been tasked with helping the organization’s rebranding efforts and developing models and campaigns to advance specialized funds. Contributing to the Deepwood Foundation’s efforts to promote advocacy, community awareness and increased opportunities for those with developmental disabilities is personal for Gillies, whose cousin has Down syndrome.
“[My cousin’s] experiences have reinforced the importance of nonprofits that supplement experiences and opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities that are not traditionally provided by public or private sectors,” Gillies said.
Now majoring in economics and political science, Gillies hopes to pair these two subjects through future work in public policy.
“I appreciate how economics provides the quantitative and mathematical framework to understand how politics—my other academic interest—is influenced by incentives proposed by individuals and policy,” she said.
On campus, Gillies’ extracurricular activities are offering her even more experiences to help prepare for her future. She is a voting ambassador with the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, a representative for Undergraduate Student Government, a member of Phi Mu and vice president of operations for the CWRU Wilderness Society.
As Gillies looks ahead to her future, she hopes to take a year or two after completing her bachelor’s degree to participate in a community service project before launching her career.