One of the most valuable aspects of this internship has been what we refer to around the office as “intern happy hours.” These lunches, put on in a conference room every Friday, invite someone important and experienced from around the office to sit down and answer our questions. They talk about their education, their career paths, and how the skills we are learning working towards the DNC might factor into our futures.
From our in-house counsel to the Executive Director of the Host Committee and even former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, each of them has offered something unique and evaded the platitudes of the usual professional advice you hear all the time. They’re honest about poor decisions they’ve made. One of them told us to avoid studying corporate law at all costs. They admit when luck played a role. And most importantly, they have encouraged us to reach out in the future. Whereas my internships last summer were useful, I cannot fully express how satisfying it is to work in an environment that is geared towards my development.
In response to the “How has your internship influenced your (near) future school, career, or personal plans?” prompt, I am surprised to say that they have. For over a year now, my grand plan has included law school immediately after graduation. Now, however, being around a corps of interns with similar interest and professionals who studied what I did, I see more possibilities.
Maybe the best thing would be to take some time off and work on a campaign or for a non-profit when I graduate. Law school admissions have been trending towards experience over undergraduates who have no real-world experience. Kevin Washo, for instance, the Executive Director, is affecting change in a way that I would love to, and his career started as an advance worker on John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Maybe something like that is the best path for me. Maybe I’ll need a law degree. In any case, this internship has prompted me to ask the right questions and begin thinking about my post-grad plans with an open mind.
Disclaimer: this post was written on July 6th, 2016 and mistakenly saved as a draft.