Intern Reflections: Katie Fisher

Monday, May 18th, 2020

I’m Katie Fisher and am from a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. In 2017, I received my bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University and completed a consecutive year of graduate studies in the program before transferring to Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. This is where I received my master’s degree in food and nutrition policy with a concentration in food law on May 17, 2020.

DC has had a hard time at keeping me away since my first internship here in Spring 2016 with National Farmers Union. MTA marks my fourth and final internship here, and it’s true what they say about the best being saved for the last. MTA was the perfect place for my education, experiences, and skills to be put together into one job that used all of it.

The first two months working at MTA is exactly what it was expected to be – hands on experience working with clients, taking notes on legislative hearings, assisting the staff in communications and administrative work, among so much more. However, something unprecedented started to unfold that no one anticipated or could have prepared for – a global pandemic. Suddenly, I found myself rolling with the punches as they came, all from the (dis)comfort of Nana’s recliner in Maryland that I set up my new workstation from.

Those first few work-from-home weeks were interesting, to say the least. We all had to find a new normal, or whatever semblance of normal one could expect during a global pandemic. For me, the biggest challenge came as I had to learn how to communicate effectively with the team, a task that became increasingly easier as the frequency of our team Zoom meetings multiplied.

Through it all, I continued to reflect on how blessed I’ve been with amazing coworkers and bosses. The team at MTA had big shoes to fill, and I can truthfully say they exceeded despite the challenges we all were faced with. Without fail, there was always a reason to smile during team meetings and hearing Mike’s praise for our efforts became a highlight of each Zoom call for me. Mike and Tara always strived to make sure the team was just as well taken care of as our clients were, a welcome feeling amidst all the uncertainty. Each team member portrayed what excellent leadership and work ethic entails, and I am thankful to have learned something from each of them.

As for next steps, I am taking a small stay-cation and will be working in the area (no surprise there!) as a paralegal for the Federal Trade Commission. It is a sad departure from Team Torrey, but at least I will be a quick walk across the Mall to grab coffee, lunch, or the much-needed rooftop Happy Hour that I am eagerly awaiting post-pandemic. Thank you, Mike, Tara, Kerry, Barbara, and Marissa, for the best outcome of a non-ideal situation!