Max Mescall's view of internships transformed by "real world work experience" at the National Crime Prevention Council

Currently, I work at the National Crime Prevention Council based out of Arlington Virginia. When I first arrived in Washington D.C. with WII, I thought internships were more opportunities to meet others in my field of interest than actual work experiences. To my surprise, I have obtained both real world work experience in my small office, and had the opportunity to speak to many experts in the field of crime prevention. Instead of fetching coffee or making copies, as I expected I would do while in my office, I am helping research topics for grant proposals, writing blog posts on cutting edge techniques to prevent crime, and interviewing leaders in the field of crime prevention and deterrence. Rather than an office that treats interns with contempt or as people who are there for a few weeks then never heard from again, my coworkers treat me as an equal, and I am proud to say that I am building lasting relationships with those whom share my lunch breaks.

My supervisor is both extremely professional and friendly, and guides me through the day-to-day events in the office. She is extremely careful to make sure that I am not overburdened by my workload, while also trying to challenge me with new tasks, like interviews or promoting the National Crime Prevention Council through its social media outlets. My boss also makes sure that she is available to help me with any difficult projects or assignments, but gives me the independence to pursue my tasks in the manner and speed that I choose. Along with working alongside of her and helping her efforts, my manager encourages me to work together with members from other departments, or within my own department, giving me the real world experience of working with others to accomplish set goals in an office setting.

To say the least, my internship is not what I expected. I hope to continue to learn about my office, and the people in it, in the remaining time that I have here in the nation’s capital.
— Max Mescall, Summer 2014 intern at the National Crime Prevention Council and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey student

Center for American Progress interns enjoy excitement of work, as well as extracurriculars

Living in the nation’s capital you quickly begin to recognize the city’s endless possibilities and potential. Washington has broadened my understanding of US policy, while nurturing my thoughts on foreign affairs, and challenging me to consider alternative ways of thinking. Like Foreign Service Officer Monty McGee shared with us at the Washington Internship Institute (WII) Orientation a few weeks back, in DC we live what others just read about.

Through this program I look forward to obtaining transferable skills in communications and presentation. It’s reported that young professionals of my generation will change careers up to seven times in their lifetime. Therefore, it’s imperative to learn how to learn, and increasing your skills. The more you know, the more marketable you become, the farther you’ll go in today’s world. At the WII my professor has inquired about our future career goals and is connecting us to key individuals in those fields of interest.

Last week I began interning at the Center for American Progress, in their ethnic media department. Part of my responsibilities consists of online communications and promotions, Puerto Rico news updates, and researching news sources referencing immigration reform and policy.

After work on Wednesday my supervisor asked me if I had anything to do later that evening. Living in DC you quickly realize that anything can happen at any given moment; hence, you should make yourself available and be flexible. My supervisor had tickets to attend the National Press Club screening of the new series Latino Americans, airing on PBS tomorrow night Tuesday, September 17, 2013. That evening I learned more about the Alamo’s rich history, recognized Latino history as American history, and had the opportunity to meet broadcasting journalists Ray Suarez.

Through the Washington experience I look forward to building important relationships that will open the doors to future success, while exercising my civic duties for good. Living exciting moments contests your ability to remain grounded on convictions, while running towards the mark ahead.
— David Davila, Center for American Progress intern and Farmingdale State College alumnus
Hello, my name is Nicole Andolina. I am a junior at Nazareth College of Rochester. Before attending The Washington Internship Institute (WII) I had wanted to ask past WII alums about their experiences outside of the classroom and their internships. I would like to take this time and share my top three favorite “extracurricular” events that I have had the chance to be involved with here in D.C. They include:

1. National Conference on Citizenship: The National Conference on Citizenship was a two day event that included guest speakers, seminars, and a naturalization ceremony. As a volunteer I was able to meet everyone that attended, including Congressmen, and women, a four star general, and Washington Redskins Player, Alfred Morris

2. Robert F. Kennedy Journalism and Book Awards: This awards ceremony was a reality check of how important journalism is while combating social injustice. At the event I was able to snag a picture with Today show host Natalie Morales. Meeting such inspiring people was a great way to reinforce my desire to be here.

3. National Monument night walk: At the beginning of my stay here I was able to walk the National Mall at night. Seeing the national monuments all lit up was not only beautiful, but an exciting my way to begin my experiences here in D.C.

These are just a few of the events and experiences that I have been able to be a part of while here. It will be said time after time, but the experiences you have here in D.C. truly will be based on how much you make of it. I look forward to continually make the most of my time. With D.C. as your campus, you will never be bored.

Check out my blog for more on my adventures and advice!
— Nicole Andolina, Fall 2013 intern at Center for American Progress and Nazareth College student

Coastal Carolina student quickly learns the value of networking while in Washington, DC

In the short time I have been in D.C. with the Washington Internship Institute, I have experienced a plethora of things that can be experienced few other places. For starters living in the nation’s capital you experience the things that people only read about, such as how the government shutdown effects the way the city is ran. But the experiences here from the internships and the D.C. life are only a small portion of what you do here. From day one with WII you will hear about networking, and begin experiencing it. With WII you meet so many people, beginning with the other students and then you will begin to meet professionals in the fields you want to explore. Many people who you wouldn’t be able to speak to as a professional will do so in D.C. because you are a student. While interviewing a high profile prosecutor at the United States Attorney’s Office I was given the contact information for more attorneys in the National Security department, which then led to an informational meeting with an FBI agent. As April Ryan, the White House Press Corp correspondent, told us in her meeting with our class, “It’s who you know that gets you in the door, and it’s what you know that keeps you there.” Coming to D.C. as an intern with WII is the most beneficial choice I have made as a student, because it gives you the connections you will use throughout your career to get to where you want to be.
— Brian Edgerton, Fall 2013 Intern at US Attorney's Office

Cazenovia College student and Dance Place intern Kate Mitchell explores new paths to success in DC

"Hi everyone! My name is Kate Mitchell and I am a junior at Cazenovia College located in Central New York. My time in D.C. through the Washington Internship Institute is more than halfway over! Time really does fly while you're here. I wanted to share a few of the things that I have learned here in the District-- things that have helped shape me as a young professional and as a person.

- You do not have to be a Law/Political Science major to thrive in D.C. As a Human Services major, I thought I would feel out of place. I was wrong! I am interning at a non-profit dance organization and I absolutely love it. There is a niche for everyone here, no matter what your focus. 

- Take every opportunity you can! I have been able to attend various events, ranging from political discussions to art galas. In fact, last night I attended a work event that featured a Hip-Hop group from Iraq. If anything sounds even a tiny bit interesting to you, go do it! You never know what you'll learn from these events-- or who you'll meet!

- The road to success is not straight and narrow. It is so easy to get on a track and stay there because it's easy and reliable. I am learning to apply the chaos theory to my personal goals. Not everything will go as expected and "plans" sometimes fall through. There are many avenues to take to get to your final destination, and you just have to be willing to take a leap of faith and explore them. 

I love being here in D.C. I already feel as if I have a deeper understanding of myself and how to get what I want out of life. I am excited to see what the next 2 months bring!"