There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand

By: Natalie Sherman

If you thought yesterday was long, wait until you hear about today! We began our day at 8:30 with three speakers in The Washington Center; Laura Brown (Director, Grad School of Political Management at the George Washington University), Jacob Leibenluft (Executive VP, Policy, Center for American Progress), and David Catanese (Senior Politics Writer, U.S. News and World Report) in conjunction with Shannon Pettypiece (White House Correspondent, Bloomberg News). While every speaker did an outstanding job, Laura was my personal favorite in her discussion of the glass ceiling and women in politics.

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Anna and I, taking the metro!

We then traveled to see Matt Vasilogambros at Pew Stateline. This was my favorite site visit of the day because Matt was very personable in the discussion of his journey towards the job he currently has, and the goal of where he hopes to go. Fun fact: Matt wrote a piece about Iowa – an older piece from Matt’s time at The Atlantic – read it here.

Next, we visited Matt Clark at Pyxera, doing Global Pro Bono work. Matt was a very engaging speaker and explained that pro bono work addresses much more than what meets the eye. Fun fact: Matt had a cup that said “Bluth’s Banana Stand,” and we shared a joke about the Arrested Development line “there’s always money in the banana stand,” hence the title of this post. Day made.

Paul Doucette, the VP of government affairs at Battelle, and Matt Thornblad, the director of government relations at United Technologies Corp talked to us about what it means to be a lobbyist and what the position entails. Fun fact: Paul is on the Board of Trustees at Drake!

Our day ended around 6:30 – a long day! We then reconvened to watch Trump’s address to the nation at 9:00 alongside other students at The Washington Center. It was very interesting to watch among peers and see everybody’s reactions, but only time will tell what the future for our country and government holds.

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