Madison to D.C.: Marin Hein Digs Deeper into Activism through WiW Speakers, Internship

With her passion for legislative activism, rising senior Marin Hein is set to build her own professional brand through the Wisconsin in Washington, D.C. Internship (WiW) Program. In doing so, she joins other Badgers in D.C. who are seeking to connect with expertise on and off Capitol Hill.

WiW offers undergraduates the opportunity to spend a semester or summer interning in Washington, D.C. while taking classes and earning academic credit. Course work in WiW includes lectures from industry experts and alumni, as well as giving students a chance to get a taste of D.C. professional life and fostering future industry connections.

Hein, a political science and Spanish major with a certificate in global health, is particularly drawn to international development and activist law. This led her to intern with the International Law Institute (ILI) as a Programs Intern. At the Institute, Hein helps organize seminars for individuals and organizations in developing countries on topics such as arbitration and mediation, contract drafting and public/private partnerships. For Hein, this means emailing speakers, promoting the seminars on social media, and writing articles on ILI events.

Marin Hein

ILI proved to be an excellent testing ground for Hein to blend her passion for activism, law, and the Spanish language to further explore not only a possible legal career, but also how to provide equitable international development aid to Latin American countries.

“The International Law Institute helped me realize my interest in law,” Hein said. “One of the things I really admire about the ILI, is that it’s a consensual exchange of knowledge from the ILI to any participating countries. I’m really interested in how to further promote that in international law.”

In addition to the internships, WiW also provides speakers from a variety of D.C. professions from legislative assistants to medical analysts to offer students a variety of perspectives on D.C. work. Though the WiW experience this summer is virtual due to the pandemic, the online nature of the program allowed for speakers from outside D.C. to come and speak to the students.

“We could get speakers from all over the U.S. instead of just in D.C., because we have one guest speaker during each class,” Hein said. “We didn’t have to limit ourselves to people who lived in in Washington, so it kind of offered a broader perspective [than usual].”

One of the lecturers that struck Hein as particularly interesting was a speaker who focused on his background from therapy to the challenges, opportunities, and nuances of the nonprofit sector. Looking forward to graduate school and activist law, Hein hopes to take both the speaker’s thoughts and her experience gained with WiW to network and take her activism above and beyond.

“All of the guest speakers always incredibly accessible. They…were so incredibly open and willing to meet to talk more about their job or about us, or whatever we wanted to talk about,” Hein said. “We had an insane amount of networking opportunities that I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else.”