Dominican University student raul Navarrete speaks on his experience at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

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

In the fall of 2017, I was a Fellow at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and could not have been placed at a better organization than this one. Throughout my time at the Foundation, I was given the tools and resources necessary for my success, in order to achieve and advance professionally, mentally, socially, and intellectually. I was a part of a small, yet mighty Foundation team whom the majority were new to their role. The experience I received, through the projects I was assigned, was quite substantial as I took on projects that would later take me to Dallas, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. The substantive work I received and contributed to the Foundation involved helping manage programs and initiatives that contributed to encouraging entrepreneurial ideals, cultivate business growth, strengthen local chambers, and foster leadership values. I’m extremely thankful for the Washington Internship Institute for being the bridge in the placement process and connecting me to a wonderful organization.

What did you learn in your classes?

The classes provided by the Washington Internship Institute were tremendously beneficial to my professional development and also contributed to my knowledge of Policy & Politics. We touched on widely discussed topics such as: education reform, immigration reform, healthcare reform, campaign financing, the death penalty, etc. Overall, the classes helped me advance myself and zero in on my personal political stance and essentially helped keep me well informed with our current administration. Being inside Washington gave me perspective of who I want to become and where I want to go in life.

What did you do in your free time?

At first, free time in D.C seemed like it was only on the weekends, but as the semester continued, I quickly realized that free time was any time I wasn’t in the office. I attended networking events, took self-guided tours of all the FREE museums D.C has to offer, joined a dance team to cater to my dancer’s lifestyle, went to happy hours with my roommates, played 8-ball pool in my penthouse, became a foodie (D.C has great food) and overall lived my best life.

Recommendations for future DC interns?

·      DO NOT enclose yourself in your apartment and take full advantage of all the resources and events happening around you!

·      Budget your money wisely.

·      Build life-long connections with your cohort.

·      Remember that you are not only representing WII and the organization in which you work for but also yourself.






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

I completed an internship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which is most frequently referred to as the Wilson Center. I worked specifically as a Staff Intern with the Middle East Program. It was part of my daily responsibilities to remain as knowledgeable as I possibly could about recent Middle East topics and issues. Every day I wrote and compiled a Middle East-North Africa News Brief and also handled the Program’s twitter. When the Middle East Program hosted events I wrote speaker bios and summaries of the events which were published on the Wilson Center website. Apart from that, I was frequently asked to write memos on specific topics in the Middle East in which I would then brief Aaron David Miller, the Program’s director. When Middle East-related publications were near ready for publication I was one of the last people to look them over for final edits. However, some of my favorite projects were those of my own in which I conducted my own research on topics like Hezbollah, ISIS after Raqqa, and Palestinian reconciliation. I was encouraged by those I worked for to do so and it was very rewarding to get feedback from them on my own work.

What did you learn in your classes?

I learned quite a few things in the two classes I was enrolled in throughout the semester. In the Internship Seminar course, I learned about the importance of public speaking, being able to effectively communicate with others, networking, and how to be a professional. Through in-class speaking and interviewing exercises I was able to become much more confident in these areas. Our professor gave us a lot of great advice when it came to business cards, resumes, cover letters and letters of recommendations. This was very beneficial. The other course I enrolled in was International and Foreign Policy Studies. In this class, I was able to obtain a more well-rounded understanding of the key issues that the world faces and how the United States responds to them. Both classes frequently had guest speakers come to class that provided us with helpful advice for our careers going forward. In International and Foreign Policy Studies we also had a few site visits to different think tanks, which I particularly enjoyed.

What did you do in your free time?

In my free time, which generally was on the weekends, I liked to go do something new every day. My friends and I would pick a new area and go exploring for the day. In the beginning of my time living in Washington, D.C. it was all about seeing the main attractions such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and Capitol Hill. However, as time went on we quickly realized there was a lot more to do and to see and figured we had to experience D.C. as much as we could before we had to leave. Some of my favorite places included Georgetown, DuPont Circle, and Alexandria by the waterfront. All three are not in the middle of D.C. but are fairly close and provide a different type of experience. Some of my favorite things I did throughout the semester was seeing a Washington Nationals and Washington Wizards game, kayaking on the Potomac River, getting a tour of the White House gardens, and trying out all the great food options throughout the city.

Recommendations for future DC interns?

My best piece of advice for future interns in D.C. would be to not stay in the apartment all day after work and on the weekends. Get out of your room, explore and meet as many new people as you can. Even those that aren’t on the same “team” as you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Networking is a big part of D.C. life and it is through this that you will get your next job or internship. Seek out professionals whom you admire and aspire to be like and meet with them to ask for advice and their careers. Furthermore, an internship is supposed to be a learning experience, but you have to approach this differently than you would a college lecture. Get ready to spend a lot of time listening. There will be no grades to dispute, and you should welcome constructive criticism about your work. And chances are that the people who will teach you the most are not the bosses you occasionally see at meetings, but your fellow interns and the young staffers sitting near you. Other than that, make time to go have fun! There are so many great things to do in D.C.

Ursinus College Student Charlotte Rohrer Discusses Spring 2017 DC Experience

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

I interned at the National Peace Corps Association and some of my favorite tasks were going up to the Hill with my supervisor and meeting with congressional staffers.

What did you learn in your classes?

The most important part I took away from the Internship Seminar is the importance of networking. Moreover, I took the class on International and Foreign Policy which not only taught me more about the American point of view on foreign policy, but also connected me with several interesting speakers.

What did you do in your free time?

In my free time, I did several different things, including going to see museums, the cherry blossom festival, networking and attending several events by different think tanks. One experience I would recommend is going to different events, be it at embassies or think tanks. They are always worth it and often free!

Recommendations for future DC interns?

Go out and network while in D.C.! Most people are happy to help with your career path.

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


"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

Richard Damas.jpg

"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.