Past students in the program were majors in: Economics, Finance, Social Work, Public Relations, Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Criminal Justice, Sociology, Philosophy, and Political Science, but students from any major can apply.
Pennsylvania Capital Semester Program Alumni
Graduation Year - 2013
I received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics in 2013. My PA Capital Semester experience was truly amazing. I was able to work on the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the House Republicans, where I was given a lot of responsibility. In my first week I had written my first resolution, and by the end of the semester I had drafted more resolutions, bills, memorandums, constituent letters, and reports. The committee I worked on was amazing, as they had plenty of experience with interns and pushed me to do as much as possible in my time there. I formed a wonderful bond with the committee, and learned so much from them. Some of the projects I worked on was drafting legislation to amend the tax code to include volunteer firefighters under workers compensation, and I also helped our team put together a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam soldier.
I am very proud of my time spent in Harrisburg, and will use the experience, knowledge, and skills from my time there for the rest of my career.
I was always busy at work and looked forward to waking up each morning to go into the State Capitol. I also really enjoyed the two classes, as they gave us tools and knowledge to better equip my time in the House. Overall, I was very happy with my placement, and keep in touch with many of the representatives and staff that I worked with. I would say that this experience has helped me prepare for my career in numerous ways. Not only did I learn the art of networking, but now have these connections that I built during my time there. I was handed multiple letters of recommendations when I left, and have a very unique and prestigious internship on my resume. As much of my work involved writing and editing, I would say my skills in writing have increased tremendously, as well as my research skills. This internship definitely showed me that I want a career as a research analyst. I am very proud of my time spent in Harrisburg, and will use the experience, knowledge, and skills from my time there for the rest of my career.
- Graduation Year - 2016
- Job Title - Executive Support Specialist
- Employer - Office of Governor Tom Wolf
I graduated cum laude from Temple’s College of Liberal Arts in May 2016 with a degree in political science, a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in Latin American studies.
I participated in the PA Capital Semester program in spring 2015 and was placed in the Democratic House Education Committee under Chairman Rep. James Roebuck. I was fortunate enough to be interning with the committee during a period where a new governor had placed education as his top priority. As a result, I was able to work on a variety of exciting projects! On a daily basis, I was responsible for compiling data on charter schools throughout the state, conducting comparative analyses on education throughout the nation, attending Democratic Caucus meetings, and writing summaries to pieces of legislation. My project for the semester consisted of familiarizing myself with anti-bullying laws across the country to identify points where PA law was sufficient and ineffective in addressing the issue of bullying.
In large part due to the connections I made from the bountiful networking opportunities during the program, I was extremely fortunate to be offered a job in Governor Tom Wolf’s brand new Office of Constituent Services immediately after graduation.
The PA Capital Semester program opened my eyes to the kind of work that is done at the state level and just how impactful it is to the lives of everyday citizens. It gave me an entirely new understanding, respect, and appreciation for the legislative process. The lessons I learned there helped to shape my professional and academic career.
In large part due to the connections I made from the bountiful networking opportunities during the program, I was extremely fortunate to be offered a job in Governor Tom Wolf’s brand new Office of Constituent Services immediately after graduation. The office was established in February of 2016 with the intent of streamlining constituent services, expanding the transparency of the Executive Branch, and further connecting the governor with the people he serves.
I was offered this job because of the experience I gained in previous internships, a familiarity with Harrisburg, and knowledge of the public policy process. None of it would have been possible without the experiences gained in the PA Capital Semester program. The first time I walked into the rotunda of the PA Capitol Building, I knew that this was the place I needed to be. It is such a humbling experience to be able to walk into that building five days a week knowing that the work I do there is important and it is something that I am proud to do.
- Graduation Year - 2012
- Job Title - Nonprofit Event Manager
- Employer - Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
I graduated from Temple University in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. I minored in Economics.
I participated in the PA Capital Semester in Fall 2011. I also received a placement in the House of Representatives Legislative Fellowship program as one of six paid interns from around the state. I feel that I had a complete and satisfying experience from the two internships combined. I worked on the Urban Affairs Committee during an unexpectedly exciting time. Harrisburg tried to file for bankruptcy! I attended several hearings on municipal bankruptcy while Governor Corbett appointed a receiver to force city action in repaying its debt. As a Legislative Fellow, I participated in bipartisan workshops with members and staff to discuss the committee system, legislative drafting procedures, lobbying, etc. The experience is certainly what you make of it. I enjoyed my committee work, but I used any free time to attend any hearings or votes that were of interest to me.
The ability to work under strict deadlines and my varied writing experiences have helped me succeed in my current position as a community organizer.
I moved to Washington, D.C. last fall to work in nonprofit event management at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. While my current position is relatively non-political, I plan to pursue policy research and advocacy within the next year and begin graduate studies. I’ve kept in touch with many of my contacts from the House and joined the Pennsylvania Society of D.C. to continue networking and make career plans. The ability to work under strict deadlines and my varied writing experiences have helped me succeed in my current position as a community organizer. Many of the organizations I hope to work for in the future desire government experience and knowledge of specific policy issues. My time in Harrisburg for the Capital Semester will likely make me a stronger candidate for the graduate programs I apply to as well as future employment in the nation’s capital.
Graduation Year - 2014
I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Temple University in political science in May 2014.
I participated in the PA Capital Semester in Fall 2013 where I was placed in an internship at Wanner Associates, a management and lobbying firm placed right in the heart of Harrisburg. After three years of sitting in lecture halls, I was excited by the possibility of gaining practical experience in a private firm for a semester. My mentor, Ms. Linda Rhinehart, was a tremendous asset for me at that point in my life and helped to give me the tools to shape my future. In my first week alone, I was monitoring legislative developments and building relationships through both our client networks and the political environment. What made this experience even more satisfying was how multi-faceted it was. I worked for both domestic and international clients on a wide array of issues ranging from education to infrastructure to global supply networks. Not only was I tasked with preparing our internal research for our clients, but I was also tasked with keeping up-to-date on all the latest legislative developments happening in the Capitol building.
It was an exciting feeling knowing how my work at Wanner Associates connected the private and public sphere. Beyond the professional skill set I obtained from my time at Wanner Associates, I also was able to grow as a person due to the high amount of professionalism I witnessed each day in the office and how my colleagues conducted themselves.
Our classroom seminars were a lot of fun. Luckily for me, Wanner Associates was focused on property tax reform at the time so I was able to use my knowledge from the firm in the classroom. I gained a better understanding of the workings in the Capitol area through our seminars. They also provided good food for the students after work which is always a plus!
Beyond the networking and skill set I developed over those months, it was also a lot fun. The people that I met during this time, both inside and outside of the program, were great and we still keep in contact nearly 4 years later!
After the PA Capital Semester program, I decided to continue on with my studies abroad. In October 2016, I obtained my master’s degree from Bremen University & Jacobs University in international relations with a specialization in global governance and social theory in Bremen, Germany. Since then, I have moved to Berlin and have been building up my contact network which is a skill that I directly learned from my time in Harrisburg. Beyond that, my close work with policy development at Wanner Associates influenced me to now seek similar opportunities abroad in Europe.
I am very thankful that I was afforded the opportunity to learn, study, and live in Harrisburg and fully recommend it to anyone who is interested.
- Graduation Year - 2014
- Employer - The Bravo Group
My degree from Temple University was in political science, which I received in May of 2014. I transferred to Temple from Saint Joseph’s University halfway through my junior year and the Capital Semester Program seemed like it would be a great program to be a part of with Temple.
I was placed with the House Republican Urban Affairs Committee under an awesome supervisor and mentor who was a huge asset for me throughout the semester. The flexible schedule allowed me to get the full experience of Harrisburg while letting me go home or to other places on the weekends. What I liked most about the Urban Affairs Committee was that it was strongly bipartisan. Today, we see a lot of partisanship in all facets of government; however, this committee focuses on the wellbeing of cities and its citizens. Thus, all political parties and mindsets are open to working with each other on this committee. On my second day of the internship, I attended a very lengthy meeting to go over the middle stages of the Act 47 Task Force meetings. Throughout the meeting, everyone who was present was open and receptive to others’ ideas. At the time, I did not know that there were people from all different beliefs and experiences contributing, not just one political party. This was refreshing to me because it illustrated that bipartisanship is still possible. While Urban Affairs does not have a large number of bills, the ones it has are wide in scope and take a lot of dedicated time to come to full fruition. Additionally, I was able to draft a House bill pertaining to mixed-use housing and development, with the help of my supervisor. In May of 2014, it was voted out of committee and will hopefully be introduced in the House soon!
In addition to being extremely informative and beneficial for networking, it was a lot of fun! All in all, I’d recommend this program to anyone.
Outside of the Capitol building, the most important part of my experience was the networking aspect. At first, it can be awkward but once you start talking to people, the rest follows smoothly. My best memories were going out the nights that session was happening and meeting members of the General Assembly, staffers, lobbyists, and anyone else who was there. In addition to being extremely informative and beneficial for networking, it was a lot of fun! All in all, I’d recommend this program to anyone.
Graduation Year - 2011
I graduated May 2011 with a BA in Political Science (magna cum laude).
I really enjoyed my experience with the Capital Semester program. I interned with the House Urban Affairs Committee, under Representative W. Curtis Thomas who was Chairman at the time. I did a lot of research dealing with blighted properties and economic development. At the end of the internship, I drafted a proposal to establish art districts in PA that would grant tax exemptions to property owners. I felt that this was a solution to the problem of abandoned properties by offering incentives to buyers while helping to revive communities through the arts. During this time, I learned to utilize the resources around me because I was conveniently located in the Capitol and had access to different governmental agencies. I was able to attend conferences with local politicians throughout PA to address the issue of blighted properties and get a feel for what worked. I sat in on House sessions and tracked the movement of Committee bills. I was allowed access to important strategic meetings with the Democratic Caucus during controversial bills, such as the stand-your-ground law. I wrote reports on issues going on in the Philadelphia area, such as the scandal with the Philadelphia Housing Authority at the time.
The internship allowed me to be creative, while also being aware of the many obstacles that these laws must go through in order to be properly vetted. Not only did I have to address budgetary issues with some of the policies dealing with economic development, but I became aware of the political culture inside the Capitol. There were many times when I felt frustrated with the system but any accomplishments felt like huge milestones. While I was there, the Housing Urban Affairs Committee was able to pass legislation for house inspectors to be certified and to offer more protections for mobile home owners.
My time at the Capitol really helped me to understand what it was that captured the interest of politicians.
After my internship, I maintained good relationships with Representative Thomas, the Executive Director of the Committee, and some of the staff members there. Even upon my graduation at Temple a year later, one of the staff members informed me of a position opening up with the Committee. I remain so grateful for the relationship I’ve built with the people I’ve met. Even to this day, I can call anyone in the Committee for a recommendation letter or to just grab lunch and catch up. Most importantly, I met many brilliant and passionate individuals working towards different causes. This lesson was something I tried to express to many people once I came back to Temple University, to reassure them there were many earnest folks working to protect the interests of the people.
Shortly after, I continued my work with a nonprofit organization providing employment placement and legal services to immigrants in the Philadelphia and Upper Darby area. I was a program assistant under the supervision of the Director of Operations and Outreach. I wrote a lot of reports on the successes of our placements, as well as advocacy pieces on the positive economic impacts that immigrants have on the city. This was in response to the anti-immigration atmosphere felt in the city, as well as all around the US. I helped gather data for grant proposals. My time at the Capitol really helped me to understand what it was that captured the interest of politicians. I had to assess what data would be most relevant because I understood what it was politicians looked to in deciding how to allocate funding.
After dealing with the frustrations of public services, I went to work for the private sector, a risk management company dealing with life insurance policy. The independence I had during parts of my internship gave me the opportunity to be a critical thinker to navigate past the hurdles I faced, which helped me with this new job. I learned how to think for myself, which allowed me to figure out how to deal with the problems that came with this new venture that I had no experience in whatsoever. I was not so quick to run to my manager when a problem came up. Within a month with the company, I garnered the attention of management and was assigned more responsibilities, such as training 30 new people for the expanding company.
Now I am currently in law school and I’m able to appreciate my internship with the Capital Semester program more than ever. In this sink-or-swim environment, I got a head-start from my colleagues by being familiar with simple tasks, like reading statutes and looking up regulations. All of these skills would have taken me awhile to grasp, if it had not been for the full-time training I had already gotten when I was still able to trip and fall many times over during my internship. These are only a few of the numerous ways the internship has helped me in my career and future endeavors.
- Graduation Year - 2013
- Job Title - District Coordinator
- Employer - Office of State Representative Brian Sims
I graduated May 2013 with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science.
I worked on the House Education Committee under Chairman James Roebuck. My daily tasks were compiling reports on press activity around the state, researching and analyzing legislation, and reporting to the Chairman and Executive Director of legislative developments in other Committees. I was given a long-term project to research and produce an analysis of the higher education system in Pennsylvania for the Democratic Caucus. I was even given the chance to contain an entire section of my opinions and recommendations based on my findings. The PA Capital Semester program allowed me to work alongside legislators and contribute to our government. I was able to experience the side of politics and public policy you do not see on television or read in a textbook. Most importantly though, this program made me realize exactly what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to be.
Most importantly though, this program made me realize exactly what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to be.
I was able to meet my future boss in Harrisburg during the program. Representative Sims and his Chief of Staff Mason Lane (Temple Law alum) were visiting before the general election. Without this program I doubt I would have had the confidence to approach them and introduce myself. My internship ended on December 15, and less than two weeks later, I was offered the position of District Coordinator for the 182nd legislative district. I had some aspects that were definitely not working in my favor: I was the youngest interviewed, I still had 6 months of college to go through, and all the other applicants had graduated and been in the workforce for several years. When offered the position I was told two things allowed me to be chosen: persistence and my experience. I was the youngest and still in school but the experience I gained in the PA Capital Semester through working within the legislature and understanding and being a part of the legislative process was invaluable and essential for a freshman legislator. Nothing can really equate to getting up in the morning, putting your House of Representative ID on, hearing your footsteps echo throughout the Main Rotunda, and realizing you are doing what you love.
- Job Title - Legislative Assistant
- Employer - District Office for State Representative Kevin Boyle
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. I minored in Philosophy.
I participated in the PA Capital Semester in the Spring of 2014. I was placed in the House Human Services Committee with the Democratic Caucus. My duties consisted of conducting research for legislative policies, drafting bill analyses, attending hearings, and responding to constituent concerns. During my time there I gained valuable knowledge of the legislative process, built professional relationships, and gained a deep appreciation for the democratic process.
I believe that the PA Capital Semester provides a unique opportunity for students to witness and learn from one of the larger state legislatures. Under this internship program, students are provided a first-hand opportunity to witness bills being drafted, edited, debated, voted upon, and possibly passed. Moreover, students are given the opportunity to interact with staffers, lobbyists, and elected officials. They are given the chance to interact with the very people who create the laws that govern their actions.
Under this internship program, students are provided a first-hand opportunity to witness bills being drafted, edited, debated, voted upon, and possibly passed.
I valued my time in the Human Services Committee. I felt that I was able to make a meaningful contribution not only to the work of the committee but to the wellbeing of the state. While there, I was tasked with drafting a bill analysis for a particularly salient bill. The bill proposed a change to the state code to better regulate the distribution of prescription drugs in Pennsylvania. My bill analysis, after several drafts, was used in a committee vote where elected officials considered the analysis to make their decision. My internship allowed me to contribute to the discussion and debate over legislation.
Following the internship program, I began my other internship with a congressional campaign in Philadelphia at the suggestion of a Human Services Committee staffer. The campaign internship provided me with unique insight into how campaigns and Philadelphia politics function. My time in Harrisburg proved to be very valuable in the campaign as I had gained knowledge of the local political figures and atmosphere. After the campaign, I was offered a position as a legislative assistant in a district office for State Representative Kevin Boyle. My PA Capital Semester had yet again proven to be valuable, as I was able to build upon relationships gained there and put forth the skills learned in Harrisburg.
- Graduation Year - 2012
- Job Title - Staff Representative
- Employer - American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Ohio Council 8
I double majored in Social Work and Political Science. I graduated in May of 2012.
The Capital Semester experience was the most valuable internship I completed at Temple University and one of the most valuable experiences of my professional life. The Capital Semester program allowed me to work full-time as a paid legislative intern with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. The Capital Semester provided me opportunities outside of the classroom to professionally network, personally speak with elected officials, and learn about the culture of Harrisburg. No other internship program I have completed was able to give extensive field learning, flexible seminar hours, fair reimbursement of course credits, and offer the interns the ability to be compensated.
The Capital Semester experience was the most valuable internship I completed at Temple University and one of the most valuable experiences of my professional life.
My specific internship experience at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO exposed me to the importance of public policy and political action components of the labor movement across the Commonwealth. Under the supervision of Bethany Evans, a proud Temple University graduate, I learned how to monitor and analyze legislation, lobby elected officials, and conduct myself as a professional.
After completing the Capital Semester in 2010 I was able to continue working as an intern with the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Local 1776. My experiences with the PA AFL-CIO prepared me to help the UFCW 1776 battle liquor privatization. In 2012 before I graduated I was hired as a state coordinator for the CLEAR Coalition (Coalition for Labor Engagement and Accountable Revenues). Upon graduation I was hired as a Political Action and Legislative Advocate for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees International Union. I was assigned to Northwest Ohio for presidential election campaigning and engaging membership. In May 2013 I was hired on as a Staff Representative for AFSCME Ohio Council 8 the home council for AFSCME in Ohio. I am one of the youngest staff representatives in the organization and in the country. I am doing what I love and it would not have been possible without the opportunities from the PA Capital Semester.
- Graduation Year - 2013
My degree is in Political Science and Economics with a certificate in Political Economy. I received my diploma in August of 2013.
The PA Capital Semester prepared me for the real world. Not only did it broaden my horizons by putting me in a new town, with new friends and new professors, but it taught me the important skill of networking.
The PA Capital Semester was a great experience. I lived in Harrisburg at the International House and took two night classes at the local Temple campus. I worked anywhere from 30-40 hours per week on assignments ranging from constituent responses to legislative drafting. I attended meetings, met with Representatives, and prepared reports. It flexed my communication skills while also forcing me out of my own comfort zone. The night classes were pertinent to the work that was done at the Capitol. Even though I was kept busy, most weekends I was still able to travel to Philadelphia or home to Lancaster, or even enjoy the Harrisburg night life. One story I always like to tell people is this: I met and talked with the last three elected PA governors directly through the internship program. Governor Corbett in his office at the Capitol, Governor Ridge at an event held at his consulting firm’s headquarters, and Governor Rendell at a class here at Temple after being invited by a fellow intern.
The PA Capital Semester prepared me for the real world. Not only did it broaden my horizons by putting me in a new town, with new friends and new professors, but it taught me the important skill of networking. Networking, in my opinion, is the single most important skill for Liberal Arts students to obtain. The PA Capital Semester put me in situations to meet professionals who have sway in PA politics and business. Through the internship, I was able to utilize the skills to make an impression on people with whom I was put in contact. From that, I was lucky enough to obtain a job with the Agriculture Committee working under Executive Director Kerry Golden and Representative John Maher. If it wasn’t for the PA Capital Semester, I would not have been given this opportunity.
- Graduation Year - 2013
- Job Title - Government Affairs Liaison
- Employer - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
I graduated from Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts in January 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (cum laude). I minored in Criminal Justice.
I participated in the PA Capital Semester in Fall 2012 where I was placed with the House Judiciary Committee under Democratic Chairman, Thomas R. Caltagirone. Having an interest in both state and local politics as well as criminal justice, I was incredibly excited about the committee in which I was placed. During my internship I attended meetings and hearings on an expansive list of judiciary related topics. I composed a large number of personalized briefs to prepare the chairman for upcoming hearings, debates, and events. I even wrote legislative co-sponsorship memorandums, as well as resolutions and amendments that have been signed into law. Like the other staff members in the office, I also helped provide responses to constituent inquiries.
Many of the skills that I learned and many of the connections that I made during my internship are extremely relevant and helpful in carrying out my current job duties.
The PA Capital Semester was my final semester at Temple University. When my internship expired in the beginning of December 2012, the Chairman graciously offered to make arrangements with the Democratic Caucus to extend my internship with pay. I used those next couple of months to continue learning and networking while looking for employment. Finally, in February 2013, I accepted a position with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General as a Government Affairs Liaison.
I am currently supervised by the Director of Government Affairs and am the office’s only Government Affairs Liaison. I am responsible for working with the Attorney General and appropriate senior level staff members to ensure that the Office’s position on various legislative and policy matters are clearly established within the legislature. This sometimes requires me to initiate or write legislation or amendments. From time to time, I also compile briefing memorandums to prepare the Attorney General for meetings and events. Many of the skills that I learned and many of the connections that I made during my internship are extremely relevant and helpful in carrying out my current job duties. I honestly believe that had I not participated in the PA Capital Semester and received a placement so well aligned with my interests, I would not be in the position I am today.
Washington Capital Semester Program Alumni
- Major- Political Science
- Internship Site - Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender
The Washington Center has multiple programs for a student to choose from based on their major and interests. The program at The Washington Center that I was included in was called the Law and Criminal Justice program. It was a program that specifically taught students about the fields of law enforcement and criminal justice.
The Washington Semester is an experience that I will remember forever because it allowed me to strengthen my professional skills and meet new people from all around the world.
I am a political science major. While I was at The Washington Center I was placed at the Montgomery County’s Office of the Public Defender. It was a very hands-on experience. This placement reassured me that I am heading down the right path that is for me. From my time in DC, I have learned that every opportunity should be taken advantage of, as well as it is okay if you are unsure of what you would like to do in the future as long as you do not give up trying to figure it out. Being in DC has also taught me the importance of networking and making several connections with others. The Washington Semester is an experience that I will remember forever because it allowed me to strengthen my professional skills and meet new people from all around the world.
- Major - Political Science and Environmental Studies
- Internship Site - The Federal Trade Commission Division on Advertising Practices & The International Trade Commission Administrative Department
My experience with the Washington Center over the Fall 2014 semester was one of great personal growth and enhanced perspective. I was given the opportunity to live and work alongside other determined students as we all worked at our respective internships during the day, enjoyed our classes at night, and explored all that D.C. had to offer. The Washington Center, along with the many interns in the program from all over the country and world, provided many layers of support in adjusting to the fast-paced competitive climate of D.C. and allowed me to fully embrace the experience of my internship and fulfill all of the academic and civic engagement requirements with ease.
I would recommend this experience to any determined and passionate student searching for a better idea of what life after schooling can hold and the countless possibilities that live in D.C.
The most important component of the Washington Center Semester is the internship. TWC has hundreds of connections all throughout the city in whatever field a student could possibly be passionate about, and TWC will go out of their way to assure that you receive all the experience you can out of your opportunity. They do this by meeting with your supervisors on site, speaking with you personally about your experience at regular intervals or whenever you drop by the main office, and through holding seminars on how to embrace your opportunity to the fullest. During my semester I initially took an internship with the Federal Trade Commission alongside the Division of Advertising Practices to gain legal experience within the federal government. Though the internship was worthwhile in many ways it was not the experience I was looking for, so I pursued the countless other opportunities available in D.C. and gained an internship within the International Trade Commission’s Administrative Department. This could not have been accomplished without the assistance of TWC, and they made sure my move was well managed and catered to my career path. Throughout the course of the semester I saw my future forming before myself as I better understood the steps I would need to take to work as a legal professional within D.C., and I gained friends and associates within The Washington Center as well as my internship locations that are sure to be of assistance to me as I pursue my career path in the coming years.
After completing the semester program I now have a real sense of what my life after graduating Temple will look like and the many opportunities I have before me. I likely will find myself in D.C. some day in my near future making a living in our nation’s political capital, and that’s just where I’d like to be. Without The Washington Semester I would have a far more hazy understanding of my own potential and the paths I am able to take, and for that I am grateful. I would recommend this experience to any determined and passionate student searching for a better idea of what life after schooling can hold and the countless possibilities that live in D.C. Also, you are assured to have a great time exploring the vibrant and happening city. I’m positive the experience will be one not of just tremendous personal growth, but a good deal of fun too.
- Major - Communications; Minor: French
- Internship Site - The White House
I had the privilege of spending the fall semester of my senior year in Washington, DC, an experience that was only possible through The Washington Semester. Temple works through The Washington Center (TWC) and the semester is an accredited program that allows students to receive a semester’s worth of credits (15 credits) in exchange for a full-time internship, professional development programing, and a weekly night class. I was in the International Affairs program with TWC, taking a night course in U.S. Foreign Policy, with the unique privilege of interning at the White House.
I feel more confident and sure of myself as a result of my experience in Washington, DC, and I strongly advise anyone who is considering this program to challenge themselves and go for it!
Deciding to spend my fall semester in Washington, DC was one of the best decisions I have made in college. I learned so much by taking my education off Temple’s campus and exploring a new city and lifestyle. Our school does not offer a co-op internship program, and I think having a full-time internship for one semester is such a great opportunity to learn and to figure out which professional direction we intend to pursue after graduation. I am a Communication Studies major with a French minor, and I have discovered a new love for politics and public service. This program was a lot of work, but as the saying goes, “if it does not challenge you, it will not change you.” I feel more confident and sure of myself as a result of my experience in Washington, DC, and I strongly advise anyone who is considering this program to challenge themselves and go for it!
- Graduation Year - 2018
I worked for Goddard Gunster which is a campaign management firm that takes on issue advocacy campaigns. I was not in any particular department, although I did work closely with the communications director.
I was just a general intern at this company so I would do whatever they had to throw at me that day. This often included research for potential clients they were interested in taking on. I was also assigned with collecting media clips each day. This entailed searching through the news each morning to find any mention of Goddard Gunster itself, or any projects they were currently working on.
I learned not to be afraid to ask questions. At first it seems like when someone hands you a job with little information that it is completely on you to figure it out.
I had to utilize my communication skills constantly while meeting with clients, writing press releases, and even just answering the phone. Being a communications major, it was great to implement what I had learned outside of the classroom in a real life setting.
I learned not to be afraid to ask questions. At first it seems like when someone hands you a job with little information that it is completely on you to figure it out. However, while interning I found that everyone was once in your shoes, and everyone wants to help you succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for their help. Getting closer to the people you work with at your internship will also help you expand your network quickly so build those relationships early and stay in touch.
Also, even if your internship is nothing like what you expected and you figure out that the career you thought you wanted isn’t actually for you, don’t think you wasted your time. That is exactly what internships are there for. To give you a taste and help you make a decision about your future. People always told me how much I stood to gain from internships and I never took it that seriously, but after having two I couldn’t be more grateful I searched for them. They are so incredibly valuable and you can learn so much about your future, people in the workplace, and your industry as a whole. The Washington Center changed my life and really helped me prepare for my life after graduation. It sounds cliché but this is an opportunity you really don’t want to miss.