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  • Claire Wolfe 3:26 pm on April 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: D.C., ,   


    I only intern two days a week.  This leaves a lot of time in which I’m not in the office while the other interns are hard at work, working on projects and events that I may have no idea about.  I walked into the office last Tuesday and was told that there would be a press conference in an hour that I had no idea was occurring.  I also quickly realized that I would be responsible for signing in all of the visitors and providing them with answers to any questions they may have.  Immediately my heart began to race and my palms began to sweat. 

     I had no idea what I was doing.  I didn’t know anything about the press conference.

     Ten minutes later I found myself standing behind a table while men and women in suits came walking towards me.  I took a deep breath and smiled, deciding that I would do the best that I could with the information that I had.  I asked them to sign in and handed them the appropriate papers.  Honestly, there were questions asked that I didn’t know the answers to, but I (tried to) swiftly refer them to someone above me in the hierarchy. 

     After this stress, I was allowed to sit in on the press conference and listen to a few members of congress and the Director of the agency that I intern for speak.  It was honestly such a cool experience and probably one of the best moments of my internship.  In other words, it was totally worth the stress.  I find that it usually is.

  • Elyssa Shildneck 1:22 am on February 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , capitol tours, congressman, constituents, D.C., , , summer internship, , vince lombardi   

    Advice: From One Intern to Another 

    Advice is one of the many things I’ve taken from each internship. This advice has come in many different forms and from a variety of people. I received the most advice during my summer internship on the hill. As the youngest intern in the office, I received advice from staff, other interns, professionals meeting with the Congressman and even constituents that I gave Capitol Tours.

    Now that I’ve had a variety of internships, I would like to think I have my own set of advice to bestow on others.

    Here is what I’ve learned in my years as an intern:

    1) Be early! Live by the words of Vince Lombardi “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late don’t bother showing up” It shows commitment and initiative to be the first in the office. This may seem small but your supervisor and other staff will take notice. I’m not a morning person, so I like to have some extra time to wake up prior to interacting with other people.

    2) Share your opinion! I think we can all agree that in a certain respect D.C. would not be the city it is without interns. So if you have an opinion share it. You never know if ideas might be used for a new project or initiative. If you’re too intimidated to share you opinion, then you may be interning in the wrong office.

    3) Buy lunch once a week. Sadly many of us intern without pay but you should try to find a way to go out to lunch with other interns or staff in your office. During lunch you can develop  personal relationships with the people you interaction with on a daily basis. It is not good to sit at a desk all day and the relationships you develop at an internship can transform your experience in that organization.

    4) Do not browse gchat, facebook, your personal twitter account, or any shopping website all day. This pretty much goes without saying.  Even if you see staff going it, do not assume that it is okay to do. Regardless of how you are treated in an office, you are still an intern. Along with that, do not tweet about or post a status about your internship that can be negatively misconstrued.

    5) Be conscious of what you say about your internship outside of the office! You never know who can hear you and who that person may know. Everyone knows someone!

    6) Do not talk about drinking in your office, no matter how close you think you are to your supervisor, it is not professional.

    7) Dress for the job you want, not the job you have! If you would not wear the outfit to church or around your grandmother then its probably not appropriate for the office. Try the fingertip test for your skirt length. As for men… for the love of god, do not wear sneakers with a suit!! Ironing, although annoying, is a useful tool for life. If you don’t know how to iron, try youtube- they have tutorials.

    For now that’s the essential advice I have for interns. Stay tuned to hear more!

    • Francine Blume 1:54 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fabulous advice! Where did you come up with this? Is this as a result of your own experiences? Did you see other interns falling into these traps and get in trouble for it?

  • Allison Godfrey 5:29 pm on July 21, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , D.C., hot, , , , weather   

    Surviving the “Heat Dome” 

    As you all know- Washington D.C. is quite warm in the summer. But along with the rest of the country, we are currently experiencing a heat wave. The Washington Post’s Express wrote that we are under what could be considered a “heat dome.” Commuting to work and internships just got a lot harder.

  • Allison Godfrey 5:19 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: D.C., , fall, , , , ,   

    The Successes of my First D.C. Summer 

    How are there only THREE weeks left of the summer?! At the end of the next three weeks I will be leaving my position at the House of the Temple, but continuing my part-time job at the National Building Museum throughout the school year. I have spent a lot of this summer complaining and being negative. My first summer in D.C. has been challenging and unlike any other summer I have had before. But this does not have to mean that the summer was unsuccessful. I have certainly grown a lot this summer in D.C. and have been able to expand upon my career potential just from my few short months here. Here are my three biggest takeaways thus far from this summer:

    (More …)

    • Marie Spaulding 8:24 pm on July 22, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As usual, you have great insights to share! And you have a job lined up for the fall – Hurrah. Try to keep cool and enjoy the last weeks of summer. Marie

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