Obtaining an internship is never easy—rather it is a lengthy process that for me, spanned over months and consisted of numerous phone calls and emails. I began to search for summer internships in early January, where I scoped out the websites of U.S. Representatives, Senators, and governmental organizations to check the requirements and due dates of their summer intern applications.
After that process, I reached out to my personal contacts: family friends, former bosses, and Dickinson alumni who worked or had recently worked in a politically oriented career. By reaching out to these connections, I was fortunate to be asked by a handful of offices for interviews. A few weeks later, I was fortunate to receive an email that I had been accepted to work in Congresswoman Stefanik’s office.
Working on Capitol Hill has been an incredible experience and it is hard to believe I only have a couple of weeks left. So if there’s one thing you can get out of this post it’s this: use your connections. Dickinson has a great network of alumni that are always happy to help other Dickinsonians. It is those connections that form relationships, and those relationships that can create career opportunities.
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I just wrapped up the fourth week of my internship at Congresswoman Stefanik’s office and it has been an incredible experience so far.
On Capitol Hill, I have learned about the power of networking, especially when it comes to politics. In my office, I have taken time to get to know the other interns both in and outside of the workplace, and my networking skills have grown tremendously. Together with the other seven interns, we have attended conferences, sat in on hearings, and met new people through mutual friends. By these means, I have been able to connect with people who not only work on the Hill but also in other organizations in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, I have been utilizing LinkedIn and Alumni Fire and plan to get together with some alumni over the course of my internship.
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Last week, I moved into a dorm at The George Washington University which I was able to afford thanks to Dickinson’s Internship Notation Program. I have been working eight to nine hours every day so I have yet to explore the city—I am hoping to visit the monuments and experience the Smithsonian museums during my free time.
The first two weeks have been busy. In my first few days, I was welcomed by the staff and interns and sent on a scavenger hunt of the Capitol (see photos). It took me well over two hours, but I was able to find everything on the list. Since then, we have been in and out of session.
So far, I am loving my experience in DC—the Foggy Bottom Campus of GWU is a great place to live. I can’t wait to experience our nation’s capital to the fullest!