Ethan Ebert-Zavos has spent his summer in the Nation’s capital gaining the valuable experience he’ll need to jumpstart his career. As a summer scholar in the Economic Opportunity Division of the National Governors Association, Ebert-Zavos has attended professional development events throughout DC and worked on scholar-led, cross-collaborative research project. He is currently an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in public policy at the School.
“In the Economic Opportunity Division, I work primarily on workforce development programs. Specifically, I have assisted with the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) and the On-Demand Economy projects,” he says. “With the AAI team, I draft a weekly grantee newsletter detailing new resources and developments in the apprenticeship arena, take notes during technical assistance calls and contribute to the planning of the national meeting.”
Ebert-Zavos says both projects have expanded his knowledge of workforce development policies. “I hope to continue working in this policy area as I thoroughly enjoy the public and private sector engagement,” he adds.
Throughout his experience, Ebert-Zavos has worked on a cross-collaborative research project. “This endeavor involves working with interns in different divisions to conduct research and develop a final deliverable to be presented to upper management,” he says. “My group, which includes scholars from the communications, advocacy and health teams, has worked to draft a memo detailing state-level best practices in supporting the opportunity youth population. Our research will eventually be used to write a concept paper that will hopefully result in the development of a funded, 6-10 state learning group.”
The public policy courses at SPP have expanded my understanding of the legislative process, taught me how to best function in a collaborative team environment and improved my written and oral communication abilities.Ethan Ebert-Zavos
He says his interest in helping others developed when he was younger and his family would often volunteer at a local soup kitchen. “I always enjoyed seeing the smiling faces of those who came to eat. The visits helped me understand that, within my very own community, there were individuals who were facing immense hardships,” he adds. “I wanted to understand the barriers that hindered these individuals’ paths to success and work to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the privileged upbringing that I had been afforded. This exploration inevitably entered the public policy arena--a space where creativity, innovation and passion coalesced into positive change. I was hooked.”
He entered the University of Maryland as a biology major, but later switched when he learned about the public policy major. “The public policy courses at SPP have expanded my understanding of the legislative process, taught me how to best function in a collaborative team environment and improved my written and oral communication abilities,” he says. “As I begin my job search, I am confident that my degree in public policy will convey my political research capabilities, understanding of a wide array of policy areas, innovative thinking and passion for public service.”
After finishing his degree, Ebert-Zavos plans to attend law school. “I hope to explore the intersection of law and social entrepreneurship and complete pro bono work abroad.”