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Internship Spotlight: Timothy Birmingham

Timothy Birmingham

Timothy Birmingham

BSB, Economics Honors '21
Policy Intern at Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC)

Tell us about your internship.

I am currently a part of the commercial property tax team and have been conducting research on why property taxes are so high in Cook County and in Illinois in general. 

What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?

At the beginning of every week, I attend a general intern meeting, via Zoom, in which we discuss the organization's various policy objectives involving things like the RISE Act, minority contracting, tax increment financing, vacant properties and, lastly, commercial property taxes. I have also gotten to be a part of a bipartisan property tax task force, made up of SBAC members, interns and state legislators who are committed to finding ways to alleviate the current property tax burden.

During our Zoom meetings with these legislators, we have identified government consolidation, school district consolidation, and the changing ways in which properties are assessed to all be viable options with which to counter and hopefully lower both residential and commercial property taxes. Moving forward, it will be our job to put pen to paper as we create concrete solutions and pieces of legislation that are intended to provide some sort of property tax relief in Illinois.

How did you find this internship? 

I discovered it while looking through Handshake and thought it would be a good fit and a good opportunity to apply many of the economic concepts that I have learned about, thus far, during my time at DePaul.

Did it take you long to find?

It actually didn’t take long at all to find this internship. Before the school year started, I had set aside a few days to look for an internship in economics that I could do alongside my fall courses. Even after filtering my search to internships that were remote and flexible with regard to my schedule as a student, I was able to find and apply for many different ones while eventually coming across this opportunity to intern for the SBAC.

Do you have any advice for students currently looking for an internship? 

To any student out there who is currently looking for an internship, I encourage you to keep an open mind and to set aside blocks of time for you to focus on yourself and your future as you explore many different opportunities and occupational avenues related to whatever you are most passionate about. 

Do you have any advice for finding an internship during a pandemic? 

Although you may not be getting the same in-office experience that you would have prior to the pandemic, remote internships can still be worthwhile as they allow you to build relationships with people and to navigate the business world using the knowledge and skills that you have worked hard to procure at DePaul. The truth of the matter is that times are tough, but this does not mean that there aren’t opportunities out there. So long as you keep your chin up while continuing your search, and possibly broadening your horizons, you will find many businesses and organizations that would be very eternally grateful to have an extra set of hands during these difficult times.

What job do you hope to get when you graduate? 

As of right now, I am hoping to become a fiscal policy analyst. I have also considered looking into market research analysis and business reporting as potential career paths.

Why are you majoring in Economics? 

My senior year of high school, I took AP Microeconomics and I absolutely loved it as it was not only interesting, but unlike any other course that I had taken before. Economics is, more or less, a subject that helps us to better understand the decisions and actions of people, businesses, markets and governments in the world around us. That being said, I chose to major in economics as I wanted the ability to think creatively and deeply about some of the most important economic concerns facing the world tod​ay.