Q&A with Alicia Dutkiewicz, Fall 2016 Intern at Washington, DC Economic Partnership and Marketing Major at Saint Xavier University

Where did you intern and what were some of your favorite projects?

I interned at the Washington DC Economic Partnership. I loved being responsible for social media content and writing and researching other marketing informational material. I also enjoyed participating in event planning, such as for their Annual Meeting + ECON Showcase, which drew hundreds and hundreds of DC's finest together.

What did you learn in your classes?

Though the main draw of this program for me was getting to set foot outside of the classroom and work in the "real world", I really enjoyed the time I spent learning and interacting with my peers in the Inside Washington core course and the Internship Seminar course once a week. In both I got exposed to many different opinions and viewpoints and discussing different issues really allowed me to better formulate and articulate my own ideas.

What did you do in your free time and what experiences would you recommend for future DC interns?

The real question is what didn't I do in my free time? I made it my goal to explore every inch of DC that I possibly could and I am proud to say that I checked off almost every single museum, event, and activity on my list. My best recommendation for future WII interns would be to research the city beforehand and, while here, try not to waste any of your free time that could be spent sight-seeing. Before coming to DC, I read travel books, studied the metro map from the apartments to my place of work, researched cool and unique things to do, and more. Granted, I went a bit overboard with it but looking back, it paid off and I don't regret a thing. I feel as if I really saw and learned all I could about the city and it was the best experience of my life.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us or future interns?

I'd say just keeping an open mind to anything is the best way to go with being in this program. Right from the application process until my very last day in DC I made sure to try new things and gain as many new experiences as possible. Coming into the program, I didn't know if I'd like my internship, my roommates, or even the city itself but by not setting any expectations and not being close-minded, I did some of my best work at a really cool job, I made friends from around the world, and I absolutely fell in love with DC and everything it has to offer.

Lynn University Senior Broadens Horizons on Capitol Hill

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"This semester I had the opportunity to intern at the center of American power, Capitol Hill. More specifically, with Congresswoman Diana DeGette- who represents Colorado’s First District. As an intern, I had a wide array of responsibilities. From attending briefings to answering constituent calls, to running errands, I found myself doing something new each day. However, the best part of my internship had to be the relationships I developed with my co-workers. I learned an incredible amount from them about life in Washington, working full time, networking correctly, and so much more!

In addition to interning four full days a week, I also worked at Chipotle and took two extremely challenging classes, learning about foreign policy and the ins and outs of working in a professional atmosphere. Overall, I firmly believe that my experience in DC  permitted me to broaden my horizons, gain a better professional understanding, and learn to adapt to changing situations."

-Shahmir Lodhi, Lynn University Senior and Fall 2016 Intern with Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Augustana College Student Explores DC's History and Gains Experience for Career at the Office of the Attorney General, Family Services Division

"I am currently interning with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. More specifically, I am interning with the Child Protection Services in the Family Services Division. The experience I have had thus far is incredible and truly indescribable. I wake up every morning looking forward to going to work, assisting the two attorneys I am assigned to, and learning as much as possible. The people in my office have gone out of their way to assure I am getting the most from this opportunity. They are eager to answer any questions I have and teach me any tool necessary to do my job well.

I am also taking two extremely beneficial classes at the Institute. One of my classes, Inside Washington, has allowed me to understand the dynamic of our government and our country. We have had field trips to the Capitol, upcoming field trips to the Pentagon, and have guest speakers almost every week that discuss popular issues in our society today. My knowledge in terms of politics has grown tremendously in the short time I have been here. The other class I am taking, our Internship Seminar, has emphasized the importance of networking and taught me many more skills in regards to earning a career in the future. With assignments like interviewing someone who works in a field we are interested in that we do not know in Washington, D.C., to constructing job specific resumes and cover letters, I have a much better understanding of how to successfully get to where I want to be some day.

The city itself is incredible. I truly feel the history every time I look around. The monuments are overwhelming and breath taking in all of the best ways, as are the museums and galleries. There are so many things to do I fear I will not be able to do them all in my time here, but I am definitely going to try.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and grateful I decided to put my fear of leaving home for ten weeks aside. I have grown as not just a student, but a person since I have been here and could not be happier I made the decision to do this fall internship."

-Haylie Arndt, Augustana College, Fall 2016 Intern at the Office of the Attorney General, Family Services Division

 

Colby-Sawyer College student gains hands-on news reporting experience at WJLA-TV ABC7 News Channel 8

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"It was truly and honor and a blessing to be able to work as a Sports/News intern for WJLA-TV ABC7 News Channel 8. I was able to see first-hand how a top 10 news market in the nation runs its business. I would sit in on meetings we’d have in the mornings comprised of our reporters, producers, and team managers as we would discuss popular topics in the district, who would cover them, and then what time they would air on our news station. After the meeting, I would be assigned to a reporter and then I would shadow them the entire day as we would go out and cover whatever story was assigned to us.

It was an amazing experience because I was able to travel across the DMV interviewing different coaches, athletes and clients from the high school level to the professional level. I was able to see first-hand how these reporters go about their business on a day to day basis, how they gather their resources, how they talk to people, how they shoot, write, and edit their stories. Thanks to the reporters and producers I was even able to put together multiple demo reels of stand ups and newscasts involving news and sports stories. As someone who is aspiring to be a television news reporter, this was the most hands-on experience an intern like me could’ve had.

Washington D.C. is an amazing city because it is a melting pot full of all different types of people and cultures. There are a ton of great restaurants to eat at, and there are so many things to see, from the national mall, to the museums, to all the different sporting events. D.C. has a professional soccer, hockey, football, basketball and baseball team and the stadiums are always filled with people. The night life culture in D.C. is pretty awesome as well.

The classes were pretty fun and also very informative. My seminar class was very helpful to me because I was able to learn how to navigate in the business world as a young man. My professor taught me many things like creating a business card, how to write a cover letter, how to build a strong resume, how to network, and how to handle different situations that might happen in the workplace. My Introduction to American Politics class was also a very helpful class because it gave me insight into many issues that are going on in our political world right now. With the election coming up this fall I couldn’t have asked for a better time to pick up on politics.

Overall, these past three months have been the greatest experience of my life and I thank the Washington Internship Institute for allowing me to be a part of something so special."

-Richard Damas, Colby-Sawyer College, WJLA-TV ABC7 News Channel 8, Spring 2016 Intern.

Bond University Student Learns About Campaign Management with the United Nations Foundation

The Washington Internship Institute program offers a once in a lifetime experience.

"I am currently interning at the United Nations Foundation, with the Nothing But Nets Campaign. My placement at the Foundation has given me so much insight into the day to day operations of campaign management. As the advocacy intern, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in outreach, learn about corporate sponsorship cultivation and lobby on Capitol Hill.

Whilst in Washington, I have had the opportunity to take two classes at the institute. The first class is based around professional development. This class has equipped me with skills to feel confident to enter the workforce by focusing on resume development, cover letter writing and interview skills – basically all of those things you need to learn to be able to secure a job, but are never quite taught at University. I have also undertaken studies in Global Women’s Leadership Development. This class really resonates with me, as a female entering the workforce. During class, we explored issues around gender inequality and assessed the current political, economic and social context of society. We were also prompted to create policy initiatives geared towards fostering effective female leadership.

Washington DC is a truly beautiful place, filled with exciting places and the brightest, perhaps busiest, people. It has been an absolute whirlwind and an experience that has taught me so much about myself and the world."

-Caroline Foley, Bond University, Spring 2016 Intern at the United Nations Foundation

 

 

Colby-Sawyer College Student is Inspired Daily at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors

"My internship with TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors has provided me with guidance and knowledge on so many different levels. TAPS offers compassionate care to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. Peer-based support; casework assistance; connections to grief and trauma resources; and retreats, camps, and national/regional survivor seminars. Every day in the office flies by and the warm, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere of everyone who works here is ever flowing. It is a beautiful feeling to be inspired daily.

When I am not in the office I love exploring the city. I created a list of the best places to read in Washington, D.C. and have been slowly checking each off my list. So far I have enjoyed reading in the Botanical Gardens the best. My favorite museum, which I strongly suggest visiting, is the Newseum. It has seven levels and you can easily lose yourself in all the information, pictures, and videos for a full day. 

What is great about Washington, D.C. is how accessible everything is. Most museums are free and have layers of history embedded in them. It is still so hard to grasp how much history has happened right where I am living. I enjoy going from museum to museum on the weekends. It is also nice food wise. Craving sushi? Burgers? It will be a simple metro or quick walk away. I am used to living in remote area where everything is a drive. I have really enjoyed bouncing around and doing as much as I can because of how simple it is."

-Bethany Guimond, Colby-Sawyer College, Spring 2016 Intern at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors  

 

Bond University student gains insight into think tank world of policy and academia at Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars

"The WII program has facilitated an unparalleled adventure, filled with intellectual stimulation, networking opportunity and immersion into the DC culture. 

This semester I am interning at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Wilson Center devotes itself to engaging intellectuals in thoughtful, productive and unexplored debate; therefore through the internship I have been given insight into the think tank world of policy and academia. As a research assistant, I work closely with two of the most incredible senior scholars, exploring the intersection between terrorist recruitment with 1st amendment rights and America’s trade agreements. Both topics have given me the unique opportunity to explore issues that braid together both of my areas of study: law and International Relations. As a non-partisan institute the Wilson Center has the ability to host a number of events per day, usually panel debates, informative lectures, or addresses by notable speakers. Having the opportunity to attend these events and listen to topics I would otherwise never have understood or explored, has been invaluable and is my favorite aspect of the internship. 

The classes I am undertaking at WII have been an instrumental part of the experience. The Internship Seminar is aimed at creating the professional you. This semester we have undertaken informational interviews, discussed current news and issues, and explored topics such as salary negotiation and professional social media. All of the assessment tasks and class engagements are equipping us with the necessary skills for ‘the real world’. The second class, International Foreign Policy Studies, combines a mixture of theoretical based discussion, improvised debates, National Security Council simulations, notable guest speakers and think tank visits. This unique approach to the course material is really effective and engaging, as it forces you to think about the issues through a number of interpretations and avenues. 

Each weekend I look forward to days filled with yoga, cafes, strolls through neighborhoods and markets - Union Market being a particular favorite - and of course the occasional tourist indulgence (I would feel almost guilty leaving the nation’s capital without making my way through the extensive list of monuments and ‘must sees’). In particular Georgetown, with its charisma and relaxed atmosphere, quickly secured a very deserving spot on my list of DC favorites - although I will concede, any place playing home to Chaia and Baked and Wired will by default have a spot on the list!"

Kathryn Randle, Bond University, Spring 2016 Intern at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars