My Experience as a Pathways Intern

Logan Talbot (UAB ’11) graduated with a degree in Government and Media Studies before heading to Berkeley Law to pursue a legal career. Last summer he participated in the Pathways Program while interning with the legal department at the newest federal agency — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was proposed and designed by Senator Elizabeth Warren. You can read more about Logan here.


What is the Pathways Program?

The Pathways Program was created by President Barack Obama to create clear paths to Federal internships and employment opportunities for students and graduates. The program includes two distinct programs, one for current students and one for recent graduates.

Current Students

The Pathways Internship program is for current undergraduate and graduate students. It provides students in high schools, colleges, trade schools, and other qualifying educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while completing their education. 

Recent Graduates

The Pathways Recent Graduates program is for students who have graduated from undergraduate or graduate school programs within the last two years. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government.
During summer 2014, I had the pleasure of serving as a legal intern for the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I spent most of my time working on employment law issues in the Office of Equal Employment, where I had a wonderful supervisor and gained invaluable experience working with federal civil rights and employment statutes.

Logan and several Pathways interns enjoyed playing on the CFPB softball team, the "Loan Rangers." Logan helped designed the team jersey. Logan and several Pathways interns enjoyed playing on the CFPB softball team, the "Loan Rangers." Logan helped designed the team jersey.
In addition to the hands-on experience, the CFPB Pathways program also organized several training and professional development sessions for my class of interns. We got to have “coffee chats” with supervisors from every division within the Bureau, which gave us all a sense of the opportunities available at the CFPB outside our specific assignments and broadened our networks. Overall, the internship program was very well organized, and I felt like I was a contributing member to my team.

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building during Independence Day celebrations. This building is where the office of the Vice President is located.The Eisenhower Executive Office Building during Independence Day celebrations. This building is where the office of the Vice President is located.There were several highlights during the course of my internship at CFPB. One of my favorite things about working at the Bureau was that it was located immediately across the street from the White House. Every morning, I got to walk by the White House on my morning commute—in fact, on one occasion I saw Alabama native and Apple, Inc. CEO Tim Cook exiting the front entrance of the White House. I also got to meet one of my role models, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and she signed my copy of her book on bankruptcy law.

Working for the federal government was a wonderful experience, and I encourage UAB students interested in government and policy to definitely check out the Pathways Program next year when thinking about summer internships.

By Logan Talbot