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  • Audrey Tsaima 8:17 pm on February 22, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , government, , ,   

    Navigating a U.S. Department of (Fill-in-the-Blank) 

    “Just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world…She took the midnight train going anywhere…”

    Okay.

    Maybe not so much.

    But moving from a relatively small unknown state like Oregon (pronounced Ore-uh-gun for the East Coasters) is a big change. From the quaint, hipster, semi-bustling city of Portland to a “not-so-lonely-place” called Washington, DC, there are plenty of changes to deal with, especially at the workplace.

    Now this is the second time around for me. I’ve interned before at a public charter school in DC, however a government job is different, and let’s face it, kind of A BIG DEAL (not to brag).

    The great news though is that this “midnight train” can take you anywhere. There are so many opportunities for growth and development once you get your foot inside the U.S. Government (hopefully for good reasons). o.O

    Don’t expect these government internships to be all about paperwork, running copiers, buying coffee, etc. etc.

    The more interesting the department you are appointed to, the more you will actually get to learn and gain hands on experience (such as the Office of the Chief Information Officer). Not to mention, a lot of these government institutions actually offer training, networking, and volunteering opportunities for their employees (which congratulations! you sort of count! :D)

    (More …)

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  • Eleanor 2:01 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: better know a district, Colbert Report, Elizabeth Warren, , government, Hillary Clinton, , , , representatives, senators, Stephen Colbert   

    Better Know a District 

    Ever watched Stephen Colbert’s “Better Know a District Segment”? Story of my life. Today, I had to clean out a file cabinet which was supposed to have 100 files (1 for each Senator) and 435 files (1 for each Representative in Congress). Let me assure you, it had a few hundred more than that, many severely outdated. I ended up having to make about 240 new folders.

    A little Colbert for y’all: http://www.colbertnation.com/better-know-a-district

    The file cabinet did have some bulging files from people who spent years of supporting the agency I work for  (The Institute for Museum and Library Services) and for having a lot of interactions with the office (every single correspondence is kept FOREVER… well, not actually forever) but a long time. My favorite files to see (and take out of the cabinet) were Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (stopped being a Senator in 2009), Representative Rahm Emmanuel (stopped being a rep in 2009), Edward “Ted” Kennedy (died in 2009 — what a big year!), and Representative Anthony Weiner (left office in 2011 because of that sexting scandal).

    A lot of the Reps and Senators were not on my radar at all, but reading their names, I definitely “better knew” a LOT of districts. I learned Alaska, North and South Dakotas, Wyoming and Vermont only have 1 each– a Representative at large.

    Ok, so this might not be a super clear lesson from my internship or anything, but this isn’t an episode of Modern Family (I know, you’re thinking “it’s not??”). I learn a lot from paying attention. I could have been daydreaming all day, but instead, I got to know my country’s government a lot better.

    Do you know who represents you? My Senators are William “Mo” Cowan (I found out it’s pronounced like cow(the animal)-ann (the name) when I spoke to someone at his office last week), Elizabeth Warren (I love her so much), and my Rep is Jim McGovern.

    Better know your district, and pay attention. You never know what may be important.

     
  • Eleanor 10:48 pm on February 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , government, , , , , , ,   

    First Day on the Job! 

    Oh hey world! Didn’t see you there! So, as this is my first post, I thought I’d do some introductions. First off, I’m Eleanor. Nice to meet you. I’m a sophomore print journalism major (Creative writing minor? Maybe.) at the School of Communication at American University. And, starting this morning, I’m the new intern (maybe the only intern, don’t know) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). It’s a small government agency that gives grants to museums and libraries. That’s the one sentence summary I’ve given to my family and friends who’ve asked me to explain. I have a feeling I’ll be able to say a lot more about it by the end of the semester.

    I guess I should probably tell you about how I got this internship. Well, every semester on campus, there’s a job and internship fair that’s very well publicized and usually everyone goes. Except me, because I’ve always had either class or work on Wednesdays, the day they’re usually held. Last semester, it was October 4th, I believe, and I was looking for an internship for the spring. In the weeks before the fair, the career center sends out a lot of emails with lists of the companies and organizations attending, so you can do your homework on the businesses, if you’re really interested in them. From this list, I found IMLS, and looked at their internship requirements for their intern in the Office of Communications and Government Affairs. I pretty much fit the bill for a position, and thought it might be a good match because my campus job was at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. I also saw that IMLS had an October 1st deadline for fall interns, and since the career fair wasn’t until after that date, I thought I might have a good chance because I wouldn’t be competing with many other AU students, at least. So I sent them my application, and went in for an interview. The women I interviewed with were very welcoming, and seemed really grateful to have someone interested in the internship. They offered me the position at the end of the interview, telling me they’d love to have me in the spring, because their current intern was leaving in November, and their office was under construction, so they had a lower capacity than normal. It has been a little weird, but such a relief to have the internship waiting for me in the spring. So here I am, just after my first day on the job.

    I can’t wait to really get this blog going, check back for some of my adventures at IMLS! Thanks for reading.

     
  • Emily 11:45 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , government, , U.S. Department of State   

    Let the Bureaucracy Begin! 

    Hello! My name is Emily and this is my first post for the AU Intern Blog.

    I’m a junior in SIS and this semester I am geting a sneak peak at the real world. I’m interning at the US Department of State in the Foreign Service Institute, 38 hours a week, and taking classes in the evenings. Having never had an internship before, I was a little unsure of what I had gotten myself into.

    I was supposed to attend the State Department Intern Orientation on a Monday, but they emailed us that Sunday night and told us that freezing rain was in the forecast, so Orientation was pushed to Tuesday. Of course, since this is the Federal Government, that messed everything up. Instead of one day of orientation, I had three.

    I work at the Foreign Service Campus outside of Arlington, but my Orientation was at the main building downtown. There are four entrances to the main building. We had specific instructions to go to entrence #2. The guard at entrence #2 told the crowd of interns that had gathered to go to entrence #1. When we got to entrence #1, they told us to go to entrence #2. We ended up being held in the loby of entrence #1 until someone from the orientation program came to claim us… at entrence #2. By the time we all got into the building, we were 20 minutes late. Now, I’m a pretty punctual person, so being late for my first day would have normally been very stressful. Surprisingly, the bothersome bureaucracy was very calming. I laughed at the all-too-true stereotype and relaxed.

    For information on the State Department Internship Program, click here!

     
    • Francine Blume 1:15 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hope things go more smoothly from here on out! How did you get your internship? And what exactly will you be doing?

  • Candice Allouch 4:01 pm on February 22, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , government   

    Working for… the Government? 

    I had always seen myself as someone working in the field, with hands-on projects that I could directly see making a difference. So last semester, when I decided to stroll on into Bender Arena and take part in the semi-annual career fair, dressed all spiffy and ready to hand out my resume, I made sure to visit tables that had this element. I made sure to stop at places where the “getting your hands dirty” aspect was pretty evident, where employers didn’t sugarcoat the expectations, and where I didn’t get assigned a desk with my name on it, rather, I’d be assigned a pair of running shoes. But of course, nothing ever goes as planned (not for me at least). (More …)

     
    • miranda78 2:49 pm on February 25, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The story of how your got your internship is really great! It is also good that you are able to see the value in your work, and it sounds like this opportunity will only lead to many other great ones!

  • Danielle Wilsey 12:23 am on February 21, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , government, , , Race to the Top, state   

    Race to the Top 

    So earlier this week, I had my first opportunity to see my employer in action outsideof the actual office. It was not only a great change of pace from the [awesomely] bright orange walls of the building but it was also a reminder of how our work affects policy, policy makers and other think tanks. Even though Third Way is just over 5 years old, it has already made its mark within a variety of key domestic policy issues and helped to push a general move towards civility.

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    • miranda78 4:46 pm on February 25, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sounds like you had fun and learned a lot! I think opportunities to step outside the office are always great.

      • Danielle Wilsey 6:38 pm on February 27, 2011 Permalink

        Yah! It was a really great change of pace – keeps things interesting!

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