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Q&A with Madison Schomer, LJS student and ThinkTennessee intern

May 1, 2024

Q&A Madison Schomer internship with ThinkTennessee

Madison Schomer, senior, is currently an intern at ThinkTennessee, a nonpartisan think tank located in downtown Nashville.

Madison will be graduating this semester and even though she’s leaving, she wants up and coming LJS students to have some insight into her internship.

What project did you work on during your internship?

One of the things that I've been working on a lot during my time at ThinkTennessee as an intern has been voter education research. Recently there was a study that came out that said that in comparison to all the other states, Tennessee ranks last in civic activeness; essentially saying that Tennesseans are the least likely to turn out for any kind of election whether it be presidential, gubernatorial, or mayoral. I've essentially been digging into census data looking at each county in Tennessee and seeing how many eligible voters are there and how many of those eligible voters are registered to vote, and of those registered voters how many of them actually voted in different kinds of elections? So I've been piecing that information together to create this bigger story of where the gap in voter education is, who needs to know more about how to get registered, who needs to know more about what civic activeness is, what it looks like, and why it's important.

What challenges did you face and how did you handle them?

I would say just picking up different skills I haven't done a ton of work on before. I've been exposed to data analysis and other key data skills, but I've never really spearheaded projects on my own, so I think taking accountability for being thorough in looking through data and making sure that I'm doing the calculations right has really been a great opportunity for me to tap into a skill I’ve never tapped.

What advice do you have for other LJS students at Lipscomb going into their senior year?

Live in the moment and never close a door that could lead you to a connection to someone new. Always take the opportunity to dive deep into mentorship, even if it means going out of your way and sending an extra message on LinkedIn after you know you had a guest speaker in class, or following up with a professor and seeing if they can connect you with people. Mentorship has been the most invaluable part of my experience in the Law, Justice, and Society program; I have a personal mentor who graduated as an LJS major from several years ago, his name is Mason Borman, and he has just been like a rock for me and such a great counsel when I've needed professional advice, he's always been there and so I think investing in your personal and professional mentorship is something that I cannot emphasize enough, especially for LJS students.


Stephen Gilbert
Lipscomb University, senior, Public Relations

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