As we ring in the New Year here at Global Integrity, we are happy to welcome a new intern to our ranks, Matt Garlipp. After three days on the job, I sat down with Matt to learn more about his interest in governance, anti-corruption and why out of all the great NGOs in Washington, DC he choose to spend the next month with us.
Monika Shepard: What brought you to Global Integrity?
Matt Garlipp: The University of Delaware has a unique winter session option where students can take classes on campus, study abroad or more recently, take part in an internship. I got accepted into UD’s Washington, DC winter program where we’ll be taking a course on US political systems and structure as well as doing an internship. Since I am interested in international relations, I wanted to work at a non-profit that is working on issues and making an impact globally. I learned about Global Integrity from my advisor, and am very excited about the opportunity to work at such an impressive organization.
MS: What are you studying at the University of Delaware?
MG: As of now, I am planning on a Double Major with International Relations and Sociology, with a minor in Economics. Though, because of my growing interest in politics and public policy I might focus my studies more in these areas and less on the study of sociology. Within International Relations, I have a concentration in Development and a regional specialization focused on Africa.
MS: What do you hope to gain from your experience interning with Global Integrity?
MG: Over the next month I look forward to learning what happens on a daily basis within an international non-profit, which I hope will give me a better sense of what I would like to do in the future when I graduate. Gaining this day-to-day insight will allow me to see what kind of work goes on behind-the-scenes. I look forward to doing a bit of networking by going to some external events located in DC, as well as, finding out how current Global Integrity employees got to their current positions [editor’s note: by lying, cheating, and bribing people]. As a college student, especially in the midst of a grim job market, I believe this insight will give me an edge and some insider knowledge.
MS: Washington, DC is a big bad city with lots of politicians and people working on governance issues, what do you hope to gain from your experience while living here?
MG: Besides networking and going to events, DC is an awesome, fun city that I would like to explore. Living here during the brutal cold will also give me an idea of what it would be like to work here on a more permanent basis.
MS: What are your favorite books?
MG: I generally try to read non-fiction journals or books regarding my academic interest. However, that can often get quite dry pretty quick. Some of my favorites (fiction!) are A Confederacy of Dunces, Fahrenheit 451, Fight Club, Native Son and A Time to Kill.
MS: Have you ever experienced corruption first hand?
MG: Very slightly. Last winter I was lucky enough to participate in a study abroad trip to Ghana. On my first trip to Africa I was able to see firsthand why it is so important ensure that governance issues are addressed at the local level. While there, we visited a local school where we interacted with the students, taught them lessons in English and math, and brought them school supplies and toys. In following days, we realized we did not see many of the supplies we brought to the children. One student spoke to me, saying that a teacher took one of the soccer balls, which was meant for the school children to play with. Now, this is very small-scale and doesn’t really involve any public officials or anything like that, but it showed me the very basic idea of what happens when resources are intended for one purpose but get siphoned off in different directions.
MS: Which region or countries are you most interested in focusing your work on when you graduate?
MG: I’m really interested in all parts of the world and would be very pleased if I could travel anywhere. However, I would have to say Africa and the Middle East interest me the most in terms of my academic affairs. My basic knowledge of the Italian language would also make it desirable to work in Italy, perhaps, furthering my language skills. In terms of corruption, Italy would be quite an interesting country to examine.
— Matt Garlipp and Monika Shepard