After 8 weeks, my internship at Running Start came to an end. I learned, I laughed, I was challenged, and I made life long friends and connections.
After the High School Program, the interns were invited to one night of the Running Start staff retreat. This was a way to wind down after the hectic, busy week that we had all had, and a way to get to know each other more personally. The retreat was held at the CEO’s river house in Virginia, and it was the most fun that I have had in so long. I got to know the staff and my fellow interns so well. We cooked together, swam together, and even endured a VERY buggy night to make some smores. Those two days made me appreciate even more the people that I was working with, and the fun that we could have together outside of the office.
Tasks After the HS Program
After the High School Program, the work at Running start slowed down a little bit, but we still had plenty to do. For a few weeks, we stayed in the office and tied up all of the loose ends from the program. I was in charge of combing through the thousands of photographs from the week and choosing the best ones for a Facebook album, thank you emails to sponsors and speakers, etc… However, in these last few weeks we also had some very big tasks to accomplish.
Each intern was responsible for a research project and presentation in the remaining weeks of our internships. There were two intern presentations a week. The project was to choose a topic that related to Running Start’s mission in some way, do research, and present their research to the staff and interns. For my project, I chose to research influential women politicians in the history of Connecticut’s legislature. I learned a lot about women politicians who I had not even heard of before, and I worked on my public speaking leading up to and during the presentation.
Furnishing the Fellows’ House
The last week of my internship was rather unconventional. Each Fall and Spring semester, Running Start hosts a fellowship program. The fellows are housed, provided with an internship with a woman congressperson or senator, and are given trainings by Running Start every Friday about how to run for office and be a legislator. Key word for us interns- housed. Monday-Thursday of my last week were spent at the future fellows’ house building Ikea furniture, taking measurements, cleaning, and bonding. Although it sounds like grunt work, this was one of the most rewarding weeks of my internship. Being able to spend those last days with the girls who I had become best friends with is something that I will never forget. They say to have a successful relationship, you need to be able to build Ikea furniture together, and my fellow interns and I can attest to that. By the end of the week, the house was painted, furnished, and almost ready for the fellows to move into!
The most important thing that I learned this summer is what a comfortable and successful work environment looks like. I could not have asked for a better office atmosphere, better coworkers, or better work that I got at Running Start.
I also learned about the importance of connections, especially in the world of politics. The more people you know, the more successful you’ll be. I now know 8 other young women who are interested in the same field as I am, 8 women who work in that field, and many other professionals who I can reach out to for advice, help, recommendations, or other information. This is priceless and so very useful.
One thing that I cannot mention enough: I love the girls that I got to work with this summer. We work well together professionally, and we had the best time outside of the office. I learned so many essential skills and so much important knowledge in the fields of nonprofit work and politics, but I also learned a lot about what true friends are and who I want to surround myself with in my life.
Thank you to Running Start, Dickinson, my parents, and everyone else who made this summer so wonderful.
I’ll be back soon DC!