Internship Spotlight II: Fall 2015

Kathryn Hopper, Westmont College

Kathryn Hopper internshipThis semester I have had the privilege of interning for Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). As a local from the district he represents, the office has been a nice taste of home even though I am living on the opposite side of the country. My role in the office gives me several opportunities to interact with constituents, either on the phone listening to their concerns or in person when I get to take those visiting on a tour of the Capitol. The last couple of months have flown by, and I am incredibly blessed to have had so many wonderful experiences thus far. Last week I attended a hearing when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. I also had the chance to see the Pope during his first visit to Washington D.C., to watch as Paul Ryan was sworn in as the new Speaker of the House, and to be present for several major votes on legislation addressing the budget, defunding Planned Parenthood, and reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. I have thoroughly enjoyed having a front row seat to history in just the handful of weeks I have been on the Hill.

Victoria Goebel, Gordon College

2015-09-14 19.21.29 - CopyThis semester I am interning at the Borenstein Group in Fairfax, VA. BG is an integrated marketing agency that works with PR, advertising, branding, and digital strategy. The work mostly focuses on business-to-business and business-to-government companies in tech, security, and intelligence. Since starting in September, I have had the chance to experience all parts of agency life.

The Borenstein Group is a small firm, and this has given me the chance to have plenty of hands-on experience. I have worked on research, planning, social media, and a variety of projects. This internship has given me the opportunity to learn about industries I did not know much about and discover the world of government contractors.

My favorite part of the internship experience is applying 3 years of classroom learning to a real-life setting. It has been rewarding to see how lessons learned in the classroom apply to the work force. I definitely have developed a better appreciation for the ways in which Gordon has prepared me for this opportunity.

Internship Spotlight I: Fall 2015

Fall 2015 students just finished the third week of their internships! Three students took a few moments to report on what they’re doing and what they’ve learned.

Jennifer Mayorga, University of Northwestern – St. Paul

Jennifer1I am the Immigration Policy Project Intern at the National Conference of State Legislatures. My internship has offered me an opportunity to reconnect with my first policy love: immigration. Coming from an immigrant family and recognizing all the issues related to our broken immigration system, I knew I had to come to Washington D.C. to learn about and get up to date on what our government is doing. My internship supervisor has allowed me the opportunity to attend a variety of hearings and briefings that expose me to the key players in the immigration debate.

My most recent project didn’t actually have to do with the type of immigration issues I grew up with but with the refugee crisis that has turned into a hot topic in Congress. I spent two weeks researching every website on refugee resettlement and reading reports from a variety of organizations and government offices. My supervisor asked me to create a fact sheet that she could take to informational sessions with legislators and governors. I was intimidated by the caliber of writing I was expected to produce! I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Syrian Refugee Crisis. I saw my own senators advocate for more refugees and use our state as an example of a welcoming community. I saw my government, my democracy in action that day, and I think that is what has made my internship such a valuable experience for me. The opportunity to research and write and truly understand the barriers we face when creating public policy has been one of the biggest lessons I have learned during my short time at NCSL.

Eric Hensel, Gordon College

Eric1This semester in D.C., I’m interning in the office of Senator Kelly Ayotte of NH. This past summer, I interned in the senator’s state office and absolutely loved it. I definitely made the right decision to intern for her in D.C. There’s something special about the Hill. The atmosphere is intense, fast paced, and invigorating. The other day I was walking through the Capitol and passed John McCain — no big deal. Everywhere you turn, there is someone who has a hand in shaping the policy of the free world. It’s both incredibly intimidating and incredibly exhilarating all at once. I’ve gotten to do some amazing work in the area of defense while in Senator Ayotte’s office. As I’ve spent time preparing for briefings, I’ve found out firsthand not only that congressional staffers are mind-blowingly brilliant, but also that the issues they work on are really interesting!

My favorite moment of my internship so far happened a few days ago. I got a chance, near the end of the day, just to explore the Capitol all by myself. I made my way to the rotunda and found myself all alone. It was intensely quiet, and I was floored by a realization. Here I was, all alone, in the Capitol dome of the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth. It was beyond amazing to truly take in the rotunda, really examine the paintings, and just marvel at where I was. There’s something intensely beautiful about the quiet Capitol, and I was incredibly fortunate enough to wander into it. That’s the great thing about D.C. and ASP: you’ll stumble into a phenomenal experience right when you weren’t expecting it.

Brandan Wilchcombe, Taylor University

Brandan1I am originally from the Bahamas, and now I live in Indiana and attend Taylor University. I never thought I would actually be here in Washington D.C., interning for the Washington Redskins Business Development and Operations Department, but I am, and it is awesome. At the games, I assist with handing out the field passes, and sometimes I walk the clients down to the field or take them into the tunnel access area. I also shadow my supervisor while he checks the suites. During the Redskins’ season opener against the Dolphins, I got to meet the Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe and take a picture with him. When we went into our suite to watch the rest of the game, I met former NBA player Marcus Camby and actor Colton Haynes. Serena Williams was even there! This was a great start to my job, but besides working games, I also have office work. My tasks include entering and updating client information in our CRM, doing research, writing biographies for clients, and reaching out to clients about invitations. While I work, players from the team often walk by! At first it was shocking to see Robert Griffin III walking past, but now it just seems like a normal day. So far my internship has been great. I am really working hard, but there is still more I need to learn before I am done. I am really thankful for my supervisor because he is teaching me a lot. He is very determined and hard-working and does his best to make sure everything is done right.

Besides my internship, I am really enjoying this time working with my team in the Communications track. We are working hard and doing our best to complete our case studies and client work. ASP is a really good program, especially for new experiences and opportunities.

Internship Spotlight II: Spring 2015

ev (1)Tim Carr, Gordon College

This semester, I am interning in the Crime Scene Investigations Division of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. My main duties include assisting with Crime Report records and also assisting crime scene detectives on scene and in the office. I am learning about many different facets of the police department.  Every day I am doing something different.

One of the most “fun” things that I have done was going to a homicide investigation and getting firsthand experience at processing a crime scene. Other days, I have had the opportunity to go to the D.C. Superior Court and sit in on casesev, which proves to be both interesting and a great learning experience. My internship is in many ways indescribable–in some cases because I am not allowed to talk about all of it but also because this is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. The impact that the officers and leadership have made on me will be lifelong.  My future career as a law enforcement official will be bettered because of my experience here this spring.

IMG_6666Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California

I am an executive intern at the State of Florida’s Office in the Hall of States Building of Washington D.C. The Executive Office of Florida is a very interesting and busy office where we are the liaison between the federal government and Florida state government. Part of my responsibilities includes correspondence and research for the members in my office who represent the Governor of Florida. The nature of my work is communicating with the Florida congressional delegation and attending hearings pertaining to Floridian issues such as Cuba, Immigration, Education, Healthcare, and Veterans Affairs. My time hereIMG_7017 has been wonderful! My office has given me the freedom to work on issues that are of interest to me, and being able to see senators and representatives who work on issues important to the entire nation has been fascinating and humbling. The most exciting event of my internship was being able to meet Governor Scott of Florida; it was definitely a moment I will carry with me for years to come!

Internship Spotlights I: Spring 2015

The Spring 2015 semester is flying by as students go to their internships and work on their group projects.  Three students took a few moments to report on how their internships are going.

Conference room mural at the Institute for Policy Studies

Conference room mural at the Institute for Policy Studies

Christina McIntyre, Messiah College

I’m a poverty policy intern at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). IPS is an activist-oriented think tank of public scholars. Over the past few weeks at IPS, I’ve been learning what it means to be a public scholar: to use research for social change. It’s public service through grassroots, academic, and institutional activism. My research at IPS focuses on economic hardship in the U.S. I’ve written about education inequalities, homelessness, and economic segregation. Currently, I’m helping to coordinate advocacy between Maryland and D.C. lawmakers for criminal justice reform. My internship at IPS has taken me all over the city to hearings on the Hill, meetings with activists at Busboys and Poets, and presentations by Brookings, New America, and other think tanks. Interning in D.C. is an incredible opportunity to engage the issues and ideas I care most about.

albertoAlberto Sanchez, Fresno Pacific University

My name is Alberto Sanchez, and I am currently interning for Senator Johnson’s office. I do a lot of different things in the office. I am slowly becoming accustomed to the internship routine. Every morning, I prepare newspapers for every staff member; I also sort mail appropriately as it comes in. The tasks that I do can seem dull; however, I like to think that I am contributing by serving the American people. There have been a lot of interesting experiences that I have had thus far. For example, the other day I met with my chief of staff. He said that interns are just as important as a chief of staff or legislative aid; he told me that interns deserve respect.  I was proud after the conversation that I had with him. I learned that interns are very important contributors to the welfare of the nation. I also enjoy giving tours of the Capitol. The Capitol is majestically beautiful from the inside. I am very happy that I have the opportunity to intern on the Hill. Lastly, the staff members at Senator Johnson’s office are very nice and cordial. They have told me that I can talk to them whenever I want about anything relating to their field of expertise. Furthermore, I have attended committee hearings that have expanded my knowledge of issues such as immigration, foreign relations, and national security. Clearly, I am learning about the importance of the United States Senate and how interns contribute to the nation’s prosperity.

Amanda Bishop, Biola University

I am the External Affairs intern at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). AEI is a policy think tank that aims to produce the best scholarly work on a variety of issues. Our scholars’ work is published for policymakers and the public to read. My job is to assist in promoting the work put out by AEI scholars and maintaining connections with the public. So… what does that look like on a daily basis? Well, it depends. Some days, I sit in front of a computer screen for 5 or 6 hours, updating a database of contact information. Last week, I went to C-PAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, where I got to give out books written by AEI scholars and hear speakers like the Former Ambassador to the UN. Sometimes, things get really exciting. For instance, a few weeks back I found myself shaking Newt Gingrich’s hand in a meeting of less than 20 people where I was taking notes. The week after that, I sat in on a presentation about the struggle for freedom in Iraq and afterward said hello the the Iraqi Ambassador.  And instead of being asked to fetch coffee, the AEI provides a fresh carafe of Seattle’s Best for staff and interns every few hours.

One Month in DC: Spring 2015

ASP students have finished their second week of internships and track work and are celebrating one month of being in Washington. What have they learned in D.C. so far?

When you arrive–walk everywhere during your first week! That’s how you get to know the heartbeat of this city.  One of the best “must do” experiences: grocery shopping on weekends at Eastern Market.  Talk to the people.
Savannah Scherkenback, Azusa Pacific University

The city is alive and busy, and so am I.  There is always cool stuff happening if you look.
Katie Barany, Eastern University

ASP students attended an event at George Washington University with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg {photo credit: Katie Barany}

ASP students attended an event at George Washington University with Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia {photo credit: Katie Barany}

We aren’t in Vermont anymore.
-Timothy Carr, Gordon College

I have learned that this city is amazing.  I want to keep learning what it takes to be successful in this city.  My internship is very fun.
-Alberto Sanchez, Fresno Pacific University

Lebanese food in DC is delicious (like the “Lebanese Chipotle”).
-Amanda Bishop, Biola University

Biola ASPers joined Biola President Barry Corey on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ed Royce [l-r: Amanda Bishop, President Corey, Congressman Royce, Neakzaad Horriat, Luke Bennett, and Eric Corona] {photo credit: Eric Corona}

Biola ASPers joined Biola President Barry Corey on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressman Ed Royce (CA-39) [l-r: Amanda Bishop, President Corey, Congressman Royce, Neakzaad Horriat, Luke Bennett, and Eric Corona] {photo credit: Amanda Bishop}

There is no excuse for being bored.  There is always something to do, so go do it.
-Luke Bennett, Biola University

D.C. is a wonderful place, full of energy, growth, and vigor.  At the same time, it is a city full of hurt, poverty, and inequality.
-Charlie Richert, Taylor University

Students hang out in the Dellenback [l-r: Rachel Malcolm (Azusa Pacific University), Shelby Holloway (Trinity Western University), Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University of Southern California), Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University)]

Students hang out in the Dellenback [l-r: Rachel Malcolm (Azusa Pacific University), Shelby Holloway (Trinity Western University), Alexcis Albert (Vanguard University of Southern California), Carolina Alvarado (Taylor University), and Norann Beidas (Whitworth University)]

I have learned the layout of the city and how I can attend amazing events because of this knowledge.
-Norann Beidas, Whitworth University

There are so many kind people in the city that love to discuss anything and everything.  It is so easy to meet cool people like the Mayor of London, and congressional hearings are awesome to see politicians in action.  Come to D.C.–it’s amazing!
-Alexcis Albert, Vanguard University of Southern California

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London Mayor Boris Johnson at a Politico event attended by ASP students {photo credit: Norann Beidas}

Here in D.C., it is never proper to merely ride the escalator; you must expeditiously walk.  Escalators are not fast enough.
-Eric Corona, Biola University

Opportunities are everywhere if you keep your eyes open!
-Jacob Fusek, Southeastern University

So far I think I have started to learn how to network at different events and how to reach out to people who have similar interests.
-Patricia Vazquez Topete, Fresno Pacific University

Oscar Martinez is the author of The Beast (Spanish translation for The Immigrants that Don't Matter). On Wednesvday Feb.  12 he won the WOLA and Duke Human Rights Book Award. The Beast talks about the journey that immigrants take from Central America to the U.S. Mexican Border and the dangerous experiences they encounter. At the book award Martinez said that individuals from El Salvador don't just immigrate but they flee their country.

Salvadorean journalist Oscar Martinez receives the WOLA-Duke Human Rights Book Award at an event hosted by the Washington Office on Latin America, where ASPer Patricia Vazquez Topete is interning.  Mr. Martinez is the author of The Beast which chronicles the journey that immigrants take from Central America to the U.S.-Mexican Border and the dangerous experiences they encounter. {photo credit: Patricia Vazquez Topete}

Everyone is here for a purpose, and if you are here without a purpose, you cannot succeed.  But if you do have a purpose, you will flourish here.
-Neakzaad Horriat, Biola University

I have learned about the interesting dynamic of Washington, D.C.  The poor work and live side by side with the rich.
-Rachel Malcolm, Azusa Pacific University

Never underestimate the metro system.
-Carolina Alvarado, Taylor University

Homeless Liaison for Prince George's County speaking at a panel discussion on child homelessness hosted by the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and Senator Patty Murray's office (WA)

Homeless Liaison for Prince George’s County speaking at a panel discussion on child homelessness hosted by the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and Senator Patty Murray’s office (WA) {photo credit: Christina McIntyre}

The world is bigger than I thought it was! But very different people living in the same place is a beautiful thing.
-Tara Tankersley, North Central University

Advice from someone at my internship — “Never think like an intern!”
-Reuben Van Gaalen, Dordt College

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{photo credit: Katie Barany}

Internship Spotlights II: Fall 2014

As ASP heads into the last few weeks of internships, three students reflect on their experiences at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the House of Representatives, and National Conference of State Legislatures.

Madison Carper 4

Madi Carper, Malone University

This semester, I am interning at the National Air and Space Museum in the Education department. Currently, my main projects involve researching topics for next year’s TechQuest, an alternate reality game at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center that allows participants to do hands-on learning about Cold War reconnaissance, and helping plan an event at the museum for an organization called Creative Mornings. I also get to attend various meetings around the museum departments, write lesson plans, and explore the archives for information about various artifacts involved in TechQuest.

madison carperSo far, the coolest thing I have done at my internship is participate in a brainstorming meeting for future exhibits in the museum. I was able to be included in the discussion and brainstorming activities just like the full time museum employees. Who knows, you might see one of my ideas as an exhibit one day!

My internship is such a rich experience that words cannot accurately describe it. I am able to visit iconic planes, such as the Enola Gay (the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb used in combat over Hiroshima, Japan) and Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5B (the bright red plane that Earhart is known for). My internship days are full of joy because I get to be in the best museum in the world.

10710682_10154776314970585_6528598762682877192_nShaefer Bagwell, Biola University

This semester, I’m interning at the office of Congressman Ami Bera, from my hometown of Sacramento. During the time ramping up to our internships, so many speakers had great advice for us. One of the most important things they told us to do is simple — make sure that the staff in your office knows what you’re interested in. If it wasn’t for that advice, I would’ve missed out on one of the coolest parts of my internship so far.

Since coming to the American Studies Program, I’ve discovered an interest in international relations. Luckily, my congressman sits on the Foreign Affairs committee, so we have a staff member who is devoted to the work that the committee does. So, to follow the advice of our speakers, I told her about my interest. The next 2014-09-15 19.03.43day, she asked me if I would like to come with her to a meeting of the full committee. As we sat in the staff room off to one side, she poked her head through a door, then motioned to me. “If you go through this door,” she said, “there’s a seat right there. You can have a better view than on the staff TV.” It turned out that the seat she was referring to was on the dais behind the committee. Before I knew it, my face was on C-SPAN and I was making eye contact with John Kerry.

DC is full of opportunities like that. In my time here, I’ve seen ambassadors, senators, congressmen, governors, and the Vice President. I’ve been in a senator’s house! If you take some time, make your interests known, and pay attention to what’s going on around you, you can see stuff that’ll blow your mind.

NCSLMarion Githegi, Emmanuel College

As an immigration intern at the National Conference of State Legislatures, my office window overlooks the beautiful landscape surrounding Union Station. Prior to my first day “on the job”, I was a little apprehensive–as an intern should be–with my expectations being characterized as somewhat ambiguous. Little did I know that this experience was the ideal organization for a semester-long program focused on public policy.  Most internships primarily expose an intern to administrative work but not NCSL 2NCSL! In fact, during my first meeting with Ann Morse, the intern supervisor, her exact words were “at NCSL you’re not an intern, but you’re part of the team.” I thought she said this to be polite, but since then I have attended briefings both on the Hill and at various organizations, written memos for both briefings and conference calls, interpreted legislation to be read by state legislatures, and collated research information on current immigration issues from various non-partisan organizations. I could go on, but those tasks highlight some areas covered as an intern.

As an ASP student on the public policy track, I could not have asked for a more fitting internship program because everything I have learned in the classroom has directly translated into my duties as an intern at NCSL. To add icing on the cake, my supervisor Ann Morse is the most approachable, caring, down to earth, and genuine individual I have ever had the privilege of working for. This experience has been thoroughly enjoyable, and I would recommend it to anyone considering the public policy track!

Internship Spotlights I: Fall 2014

ASP students have only been at their internships three weeks, but they’re already busy! Read on for reflections from four students interning at the Department of Justice, American Enterprise Institute, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

905853_843635905667181_2993435045497670973_o

Justin Botejue, Whitworth University:

“I am a legal intern at the Department of Justice – Office of Legislative Affairs, in the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Main Building.  The Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) is a very busy office where we are the bridge between the Justice Department and Congress.  Part of my responsibilities include correspondence, referrals, and legal research for Members of Congress and their staffers with any requests and questions that they have.  The nature of my work is classified as confidential, but I am working on projects for Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik and compiling and researching projects for the attorneys at the OLA. I cannot imagine a better 10641296_831233700240735_5135991796745598034_ninternship fit than the DOJ-OLA! It’s certainly challenging ‘brain’ work that leaves me exhausted at the end of the day, but I am learning, seeing, and doing more than any expectation that I had coming in. The attorneys at the office are very helpful, kind, and supportive, and I even sit by one at church at National Presbyterian Church! It was only my third day on the job when Attorney General, Eric Holder, resigned from his position–truly, there cannot be a more interesting time to be in the office!”

 

internship 6Diana Nesukh, Warner Pacific University:

“On the first day of my internship, I felt extremely out of my league. I was interning in the House of Representatives – was it real life? My Congressman (Elijah Cummings) is the Ranking Member on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and is on the Select Committee on Benghazi. Naturally, my first day was also the first day of the Benghazi hearings. My supervisor gave me a brief synopsis of my duties in the first half hour and then basically threw me in the deep end. Surprisingly, listening to people yell on the phone was not the worst part of that day. The worst part was my choice in footwear. I quickly realized heels were not optimal for my job. Not only were the floors exceptionally waxed that day, making every step slippery, but I toured all three House office buildings and Capitol which gave me huge blisters. That wasCong. Cummings the first and definitely last day of wearing heels to work (I stick with flats now). The best part of my internship thus far, however, has actually been outside of the office. I was able to attend the Congressional Black Caucus Reception where I totally felt like a VIP. I met a ton of important people, ate delicious food, danced, and got a great picture with the Congressman. I have been at my internship for about three weeks now and the novelty of the Hill has still not worn off!”

 

 

Internship 1Emily Hardman, Palm Beach Atlantic University:

“Hi, my name is Emily Hardman and I am interning at the American Enterprise Institute. I am working in the Political Corner on polling data for AEI scholar Karlyn Bowman. So far my work has included researching polling data on American Opinion on Affirmative Action, American Opinion on births out of wedlock, and American Opinion on negotiating with terrorists for hostage ransoms. This morning I heard television journalist and former CNN correspondent Campbell Brown discuss her upcoming lawsuit with the state of1001141104 New York regarding outdated teacher tenure policy. This afternoon I will be finishing up my Affirmative Action research for the department to send to a client. I am enjoying the pertinent and varied work here at AEI!”

 

 

 

Internship 2Chris Rednour, Mount Vernon Nazarene University:

“I am interning in the Congressional Office of Speaker of the House John Boehner. My daily duties consist of sorting constituent mail, sending and receiving flags flown over the Capitol that are requested from constituents, and giving tours of the Capitol. Along with these daily duties, I frequently get special assignments from the office aides that keep the days interesting. Working in the Speaker’s office has been thrilling, as I have gotten the chance to attend cool andinternship 3 important events, meet the Speaker, and spend a good amount of time in the halls of our nation’s Capitol. One cool event I got to attend, for example, was his Backyard Barbeque event! My experience thus far has been only positive and has made Capitol Hill even more attractive than I had thought possible.”

 

 

ASP internship sites are as diverse as our students’ interests! For a full list from the past seven years, please click here.

Staff Spotlight: Elizabeth Pitts

Elizabeth Pitts

 

Elizabeth Pitts
Internship Director

Elizabeth Pitts has worked at ASP for the past five years.  She is originally from South Carolina and attended Wheaton College in Illinois.  Elizabeth has worked in higher education for 15 years and loves engaging with college students as they build professional skills and prepare to transition into the working world.  At ASP, she directs the Internship course, Professional Mentorship Course, and alumni relations.  Elizabeth is currently conducting research for her dissertation and hopes to earn her Ph.D. in higher education in the next year.  She and her husband Lee live in Alexandria, VA, and they love camping, hiking, and leading a church small group together.  They’re expecting their first child, a daughter, in December 2014.

Internship Spotlight: Analise Nuxoll & Emily Davisson

Emily Davisson (Olivet Nazarene University) and Analise Nuxoll (Westmont College) had the unique experience of interning alongside each other at the Center for Public Justice last semester.  Below, they share about what their time together at CPJ was like.  Though most students do not intern with a fellow student from ASP, all of them will be able to identify with Emily and Analise’s overall internship story from learning to commute and figuring out professional dress codes to gaining unexpected skills and having a life-shaping experience!

Emily_Analise 2Analise: Starting off at the Center for Public Justice was…nerve wracking to say the least. I was so glad to know that Emily would be interning there with me, and together, we discussed what our time there might be like. The first day, we got off the bus approximately a mile early. Armed with high heels, pencil skirts, and lots of tissue (we were both incredibly sick), we got on another D6 bus and made our way to 1115 Massachusetts Ave.

Emily: For at least the first three days of my internship at CPJ, I couldn’t even talk because I was so sick! Stephanie, Katie, Peter, and Kendrick (CPJ staff) must have been worried about what they had gotten themselves into when they chose me. It was also a little awkward for the first few days because Lise and I didn’t know the expectation when it came to dress code. I think we were both highly overdressed, and probably took ourselves a little too seriously, in our suits and heels for the first week or two at CPJ. The staff and the two other interns quickly made us feel comfortable, especially Peter with his joking attitude and British accent.

Analise: I mostly worked with briefs and charitable solicitation forms during my time at CPJ. I did a lot of research regarding the IRS tax code in relation to non profits, and even spent some afternoons trying to get clarification from different IRS employees. Throughout this experience, I was able to have a better grasp on what sort of law I would like to practice in the future.

Emily: Soon after starting at CPJ, I realized that I had essentially taken on a communications/journalism internship. This made me a little bit nervous because my current college training didn’t help me with any of that; my major is political science with a minor in nonprofit management. I learned a lot about CPJ’s content and materials from years past; however, I mostly worked with their online journal for young adults, Shared Justice, and how to manage that website, edit daily articles, and promote its content via social media. I came to really appreciate the values Shared Justice stands for, including faithful Christian engagement in politics. As it turns out, I ended up working as the assistant editor of Shared Justice for the summer, where I manage all the current and potential contributor communication, the daily article schedule, and the social media for Shared Justice and Capital Commentary, which is very similar to Shared Justice, except it’s for people more established in their careers (35+).

We also had staff meetings every Wednesday. This was an integral part of our CPJ experience because it was during this time we got the chance to get to know other staff members and interns. We read the book Pluralism and Freedom, and had the chance to meet the author, Stephen Monsma. Weekly meetings were also a time where we shared prayer requests and praises for the things God had done in our lives. We both appreciated working for an organization that centered around the work of bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.

Analise: Together, Emily and I braved late busses, icy sidewalks, and freezing temperatures. We ran most days to catch a bus home, and talked about everything from CPJ, ASP, home life, and politics every Tuesday through Thursday. We discussed what it meant to be a Christian in Washington, D.C. and how our political views and involvement in the community reflected our faith. The days we spent at CPJ, whether interesting, painful, or funny, were days we will never forget. I know the experiences we gained have helped shape us to take on our next step in our educational and professional lives.

{Left} Emily Davisson is a senior political science major, nonprofit minor at Olivet Nazarene University. {Right} Analise Nuxoll is a junior political science major at Westmont College.

{Left} Emily Davisson is a senior political science major, nonprofit minor at Olivet Nazarene University.
{Right} Analise Nuxoll is a junior political science major at Westmont College.

Guest Post: “Top 5 Questions I’ve Gotten Since My Return from DC” by Stephanie Grossoehme

For ASP students, life in DC is life-changing.  They navigate a city, take on adult responsibilities, grow professionally through their internships, mentorships, and track work, and ultimately discover a lot about themselves.  Adjusting to life after ASP is often harder than one might expect.  How do you answer the dreaded “So, how was it?” question? How do you explain your experience to other people when you’re still processing it yourself?

Fall 2013 alumna Stephanie Grossoehme blogs her way through some of these questions, and we are thrilled to feature a guest post (and pictures) from Stephanie as she reflects on her semester experience.

#5. Did you see Obama?

Yes, I did. I didn’t get very close. I saw him at the Mall at the 50th anniversary of MLK Jr’s Dream speech. More exciting than that was the woman who started to faint and fall back onto me. I didn’t even catch her, I just watched her fall. At first I thought she was just stepping back. Nope. She was falling. She ended up being okay though. Another time I saw President Obama was at the National Christmas Tree Lighting. It was cold and very rainy. So he didn’t hang out for very long.

 

Jefferson Memorial#4 So you’re done there, then?

Yes, for now. I don’t think anyone who ever goes to DC can ever fully escape it. And that’s not because Big Brother is watching you. But I’ll speak for myself and just say that I’d totally live there again. DC is a great place to thrive in and it’s one of my favorite places. I plan on applying for jobs there after I graduate.

 

 

#3. What exactly did you do in DC?

Does anyone ever really know? I didn’t work for the CIA. I had 16 credits of coursework and internship. I interned with an organization called Free the Slaves. They do anti-slave labor work in 6 countries. They’re awesome. I worked with a team on a global development project with World Vision. I was mentored by an amazing and funny communications professional. I took a course called Vocation and Leadership. It was heavily discussion based. It made me think deeper. We explored truth and justice and Shalom, and I liked it a lot. I still like to go back and reference my reading assignments and I’m not even a hardcore nerd. In addition to the coursework though, I got to explore the city and learn from the people who live there.

 

DC rowhouses#2. Ew. Why did you even go to DC?

This is my personal favorite. Washington has a bad rep. People don’t agree with the government, I get it. But let’s be honest. DC is a great place to live. It even has its own laws since it’s not a State. It’s clean. It’s friendly. People say good morning to you as you walk by. Like, people at my little college don’t even do that. The city is full of history, obviously. It’s amazing how you never tire of the architecture. DC has this thing for cupcakes. The city is brick-paved and lined with unique row houses. My point: don’t hate on DC until you’ve walked a mile of her. She’s a beauty that’ll take your breath away. (Sigh. Pardon me while I go write a love song).

#1. Are you glad to be back?

Meh. I love Chicago, for sure. But since my experiences in DC probably changed my life, it’s difficult to get back into previous things. That’s why I write here, silly. (Obviously the people asking me these questions should just go read my blog and save me from further social interaction and contribute to slowly digress the way we humans communicate non-verbally with one another ahhhh…jk). Anyways. I think it’s something of a culture shock. I like being home, but I’m in search of the balance in taking my newfound lessons and stories and living them in an old place. That’s epitome of the struggle. It’s a progress.

Stephanie in Old Town Alexandria

Stephanie in Old Town Alexandria

A rising senior, Stephanie is a Communication major at Olivet Nazarene University.  While an ASP student, she was the social media intern at Free the Slaves; since returning to ONU, she has continued to manage Free the Slaves’ social media remotely.  After graduation, Stephanie plans to pursue social media marketing (basically anything that involves traveling, tweeting, photographing, and planning) in a major city–hopefully DC! You can find her blogging at Steph Went to Washington as she has time.