Nicole Poole is a student at Valdosta State University and served as an intern this summer at our Headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. CBLPI president Michelle Easton interviewed this young, emerging leader in December 2014.

What was it that attracted you to the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute?

I learned of the Institute when I came to CPAC and in a way it was fate. I had visited the Luce exhibit booth and picked up an intern application. It was due in a week and I thought, "How can I ever get this done in time?" But I mistakenly left my cell phone on the exhibit table. The Luce staff got in touch with a friend I had been with to try to find the owner of the phone. It was so sweet that you tried so hard to find the owner, and I decided I wanted to apply for an internship with a group that was so considerate.

I know you had other internship opportunities, why did you accept the offer from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute?

I picked Luce because of the women's empowerment aspect of the Institute's work. A lot of the other internships were mostly about politics. My passion is in empowering women, and that is what you do at the Luce Policy Institute.

What was the most important aspect of summer internship with Luce?

I especially liked your Public Speaking Workshop and found it to be very helpful in improving my speaking skills. You know, when you think of an internship, you expect the internship to help the organization – get coffee, do the filing, and mundane things like that. But the Luce Institute takes the time to help interns grow as professionals, not just in our speaking ability, but also in our writing, networking skills and other key areas.

When you got back to campus after your internship, what had changed for you?

It was my passion that had changed. Coming from a liberal home, I knew I was a conservative and why I was a conservative, but I really lacked the confidence to give voice to my views. Now anyone who debates me can see that I have a high level of confidence to go with my understanding of issues, and they have trouble proving me wrong.

After the Luce internship, I was able to make a big difference in a women's organization that I had started. It was historically liberal on its national level, and I've been able to bring more conservative values to its discussions. For example, on the myth that women make 77 cents per dollar for every man, I was able to bring new information disproving that myth to the women involved in my group.

I also prepared an internship guide based on experience with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute that my school will now distribute to help other students who are considering internships.

Coming back to school from my summer with Luce, I found I was filled with energy and focus and it was for the good all around. And I just got my grades for this past semester: 4 B's and 2 A's!

For other young women who want to get involved in the policy debates, why would you recommend she get involved with Luce?

What is so unique about Luce that I loved is that it is an atmosphere that focuses on young women growing. Washington, DC, is a very big place, and it's where most college students want to intern. I was looking for a different experience where I had an opportunity to grow and learn, and I think many other young women are looking for that as well. That is what Luce does – you give young women the opportunity to grow and learn. You actually nurture us and teach us how to do things we need for personal and professional success. There is a concept behind what Luce interns do: more than just the actual intern work, we learn more about issues and how to improve skills like speaking and writing.

Anything else Nicole?

When the Institute put photos of me in the Fall newsletter and sent it to my mom and dad, my mom took it to work and showed all her coworkers saying, "Look at my Baby!"


Photos: top, Nicole introduces one of the speakers at the 2014 Capitol Hill Intern Seminar; center, Nicole shares her college experience with attendees at the Institute’s summer High School Mentoring luncheon.

Editor’s Note: Nicole has been busy writing for her college paper, Valdosta Today, this fall. Here is one example of her articles: America’s Biggest Threat