I officially have 1.5 days left of my internship here in DC. It’s hard to believe two months have gone by that fast. I had little expectations coming in to this opportunity, but as I leave I could not be more grateful for the experiences I’ve had here.
From the start, my office has been more than willing to help me make the most of my time here. I was granted full permission to attend any events I please as long as they did not conflict with any tasks assigned to me. Through this, I was able to listen to a prisoner of war speak, go inside the White House, meet Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, attend many Criminal Justice Reform Movement lectures, and sit in for staffers on briefings. These hands-on opportunities were all incredible and definitely things I would not have been able to ever do if I did not have this internship.
(On the front steps of the Capitol with Congressman Walberg (MI-07)
As a political science major, there’s plenty you learn about the government and how the system works. However, it’s a different story when you’re thrown into the middle of it. I have gained so much knowledge that no book or professor could ever really share. It just takes seeing it to understand it. There’s behind closed door conversations, certain after-work restaurants and bars where major decisions are first developed, and private clubs where members meet out of the public’s eye. Being here, I was able to see these private moments happen. Watch them develop from a thought into actual legislation. This opportunity to witness these things is truly one that you can not get anywhere else.
(Inside the White House)
This experience has made me more driven and ambitious for my future. Before this, I would be hesitant to reach out and throw my name or resume out there. Now, I don’t think twice about taking that leap and introducing myself. It paid off when I found myself in an elevator with Paul Ryan’s Chief of Staff and Communications director, whom eventually invited me to lunch and a tour of his balcony. Skills such as how to carry yourself, especially here in DC, are ones that I could only learn from being here. I now am passionate about women’s roles in foreign policy and wish to further pursue it once I return back to school. Having the opportunity to research legislation and attend briefings and meetings on topics I had not encountered before has created many new interests for me.
I could go on forever and a day about how great this experience is. I have loved every minute of it and hope to return to DC second semester and/or next summer. This city has taught me a lot about myself and my future and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been given during my time here!
(Standing in the Jefferson Memorial overlooking the Washington Monument)