The Policy Summer Institute Empowers First-Gen Scholars for the Second Year


CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences and Google have once again joined forces to champion diversity and inclusivity within the digital policy ecosystem.

The recently concluded second edition of the Policy Summer Institute successfully provided first-generation students with invaluable professional experience at the intersection of government affairs and digital public policy. The programme's unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers and expanding opportunities for underrepresented talent in the industry undoubtedly achieved its goals.

The second edition of the Policy Summer Institute carefully selected eight outstanding CIVICA students from various social science disciplines to ensure a diverse and well-rounded cohort across the ten partners of the CIVICA alliance. This thoughtful approach to student selection guaranteed a broad range of perspectives and expertise among the participants.

Internships in Key European Cities with Insightful Experience Week at Google

The programme commenced with an immersive experience week at Google's offices, offering the students valuable insights into the inner workings of Google's Government Affairs and Public Policy teams. The opportunity to engage with industry professionals right from the outset set the stage for a transformative learning experience.

Following the experience week, the students embarked on up to nine-week internships at policy agencies located in key European cities such as London, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, The Hague, and Warsaw. During this period, each scholar was paired with a dedicated Google mentor, who provided invaluable support and career guidance throughout the internships, enhancing the learning experience and fostering a strong sense of professional development.

For this year's edition, Google supported ten political consultancies that closely work with the company to host interns in their offices for up to nine weeks between June and July. This additional opportunity allowed students to gain valuable knowledge of the consultancies' operations while working directly with Google's Global Affairs and Public Policy teams, potentially creating future employment opportunities.

Impactful Closing Event and policy proposals presentations

The highlight of the Policy Summer Institute was the closing event, hosted online by Google on 19 July 2023, where the scholars had the opportunity to present and vote on the "Policy Challenges" they had been working on. From digital talent and skills initiatives to support for innovative healthcare tools for the elderly, from the EU AI innovation accelerator programme for SMEs to empowering integration in the EU markets, participating students presented compelling and innovative solutions to the policy challenges they faced.

The audience comprised Google representatives, members of the CIVICA community, and policy agency partners. The scholars' presentations showcased their remarkable growth and development throughout the programme, underlining the positive impact it had on their professional journeys.

Continued Dedication to Empowerment, Diversity and Inclusion

Google's Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy Europe, Annette Kroeber-Riel, expressed her delight in witnessing the continued success of the Policy Summer Institute. She emphasised that the program truly reinforces their shared commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Giorgia Abeltino, Google's Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador in Europe, commended the programme for providing unparalleled opportunities and support to students, driving positive change in the industry.

The success of the Policy Summer Institute is evident, with past scholars having secured future work and study opportunities after completing the programme. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of the Policy Summer Institute in nurturing and elevating young talent in the digital policy domain. During the pilot edition, three out of nine students were offered positions after participating in the programme, demonstrating its potential to create a real impact.

Enora Palaric, International Alliances Manager at the Hertie School, reaffirmed the alliance's dedication to fostering this initiative, recognizing the importance of providing students with private sector experience to be better prepared for the job environment. Through their alliance, CIVICA and Google continue to make a concrete difference by empowering talented students from all backgrounds to become future leaders in the digital policy landscape.

The collaboration between CIVICA and Google through the Policy Summer Institute sets an inspiring example for the future, showcasing the power of partnership in breaking down barriers and fostering inclusivity within the industry. As the programme continues to empower a diverse, talented, and innovative generation of policy leaders, the journey towards a more equitable and inclusive digital policy ecosystem remains steadfast. The Policy Summer Institute stands at the forefront, guiding the way towards a brighter and more diverse future for the digital policy landscape.

Read about Hertie School's student Natascha Schoepl about her experience.

Read about LSE's student Jyotismita Khataniar about her experience.