Top Uses of LinkedIn

Written by Joel Troutman, Associate – The Institute on Business and Government Affairs

linkedin (1)An online resume, a professional social networking site, a Facebook for businesses – these are all descriptions that could be used for Linkedin.com. LinkedIn is available in 20 languages and has users in over 200 countries and territories, making it the go-to site for both employers and employees. With 300 million users, LinkedIn has quickly become a must have for every professional.

Here are some of the top uses for LinkedIn:

  1. Online Resume – Using LinkedIn as an online resume is arguably the number one way it is used. The simple layout and user friendly design allows for users to quickly create a profile and include content that a regular paper resume does not show (i.e. YouTube videos, personal websites, etc.). People in your LinkedIn network can also endorse you for certain skills or write you a recommendation right on your profile page.
  1. Professional Network – LinkedIn can be extremely useful when used as a professional networking tool. Users can connect with co-workers, friends, classmates and other professionals in order to help establish credibility in the job market. The social aspect of this network lets users share materials that they think might be beneficial, including news, academic articles or job openings.
  1. Middle Man – Traditionally, employers have had to sort through piles of resumes to narrow down the list of potential job applicants. However, LinkedIn has been revolutionary for both employers and potential employees. LinkedIn gives employers a much larger pool to pick from and also enables them to quickly search through and narrow the candidates down by just a few clicks or keystrokes-expectantly leading to better candidates. For hopeful hires, LinkedIn means increased visibility to those searching for the right employee, potentially creating better matches than through other methods.

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, this article should convince you to create one right away. When you come to Washington, DC, you’ll notice that just about everyone has one and most folks are willing to connect with you (even as an intern). If you work hard and do a good job, your supervisor might be willing to endorse you or even recommend you on LinkedIn. As a place that’s practically built on connections and professional relationships, there’s no better place to start creating your network than in Washington, DC.

Written by Dylan Reed, Coordinator – The Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems

Can interning on a political campaign really help your career? Simply put: yes! We are here to discuss what you would be doing on a campaign and how it can benefit you down the road.

CampaignCampaigns, no matter the size, always need many people to be successful. Some responsibilities include:

  • Canvassing door-to-door
  • Phone banking
  • Organizing broader volunteer efforts
  • Helping to develop Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) measures

TomManatosjobs.com, a well-respected forum for insight into finding jobs on Capitol Hill, offers good a perspective into working a campaign. The site discusses that most first-time campaigners will start as canvassers, but you can play to your personal strengths. Campaigns need people to make phone calls and do stationary or door-to-door canvassing. As a stationary canvasser, you will stand in a high pedestrian traffic area, and be prepared to attract citizens with a good hook. Door-to-door efforts include developing and rallying support for your candidate in identified communities.

Since campaigns are part-time stints, how can you turn this into a full-time job? Working on a campaign is a great way to find a position in an elected official’s office. Politicians want to have trusted individuals in their office, so campaign staffers are frequently hired on full-time after a campaign concludes. Even in a losing campaign, you can make a good name for yourself by working hard and impressing the campaign staff. Proving yourself in a campaign setting could lead to a good recommendation and a job down the road.

There are many other benefits to a campaign internship. Campaigns (and you) need to be prepared to answer questions about a wide array of policy issues. Other internships are typically policy-specific, so this is a great opportunity to work in an environment with multiple issue areas. Jacqueline Ortiz Ramsay, a former campaign staffer for the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign, details the benefits and reasons for joining campaigns such as gaining hands-on experience, learning how to operate in a fast-paced setting, and having the opportunity to network with a wide group of people.

Whether you are an aspiring politico or looking for great skills to add to your resume, interning on a political campaign is a great start!

Written by Joe Starrs, Director – US Programs and the Institute on Political Journalism

prEveryone knows that Washington, DC is THE place to make a name for yourself in politics and government. DC also can’t be beat when it comes to breaking into media, law and lobbying. What people may not know is that DC is an amazing place to learn the craft of Public Relations and Strategic Communications.

While the “Big Three” (NYC, LA, & Chicago) have great PR opportunities, DC offers more diverse and interesting chances to learn the PR craft.  The reasons are obvious: almost every advocacy group, association, for-profit company, or nonprofit organization has a stake or interest in what happens in the most powerful city in the free world.

Jump in a cab and take a ride into the heart of downtown DC – drive less than a mile and you’ll pass places like:

  • National Broadcasting Association
  • Edelman Public Relations
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Ogilvy Public Relations
  • Chamber of Commerce

These are just a few examples of the PR powerhouses with teams of really bright people whose average week is filled with exciting and impactful work.

Are you passionate about a pressing issue? Do you want to make a difference in one of these areas?

  • The environment
  • World hunger
  • Gun rights or gun safety

Whatever the cause or the issue, chances are very good that there’s a place and a need for a PR/Strategic Communication specialist in your interest area.

Are you interested in world and international affairs? Have you always wanted to work for an NGO, a think tank or put that foreign language to use? You can do all this in DC while using the skills and knowledge you’ve learned in the PR field. Opportunities abound at places like:

  • The World Bank
  • The International Monetary Fund
  • The Red Cross
  • Foreign Embassies

Of course at the heart of DC is government, politics and the media. From Capitol Hill and the courts, to federal agencies and the military, along with news operations from around the world, these are the “engines” that drive DC. Every one of these entities has a place for the PR professional. PR students who are interested in  DC can always “test drive” the city by interning during the summer or semester. Students will be sure to find a thriving, vibrant city with opportunities unavailable anywhere else.

For information about the PR internship opportunities available through DCInternships, contact:
Joe Starrs
Director, U.S. Programs

Written by Kari Travis, Program Associate – Institute on Political Journalism

While IPJ students Jordan Dietterich and Yuanyuan (Tracy) Tian are from opposite sides of the world, both share a common experience this summer: it’s their first time in D.C.

Jordan, a student at SUNY Oswego in Upstate New York, was first terrified by the idea of living in a big city, but he went ahead and took the leap. “One of my idols, John Wayne, once said ‘courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways’,” Jordan says. “Without courage, I would not be in DC having the summer of my life with this TFAS program.”

Jordan hopes to be a sports broadcaster and found professional growth and opportunity this summer at his internship with MRB Films. He also had the chance to attend small group briefings at major news outlets across the city. It was during one such briefing that Jordan met one of his life-long idols—sports broadcaster Tony Kornheiser—on the set of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.


“After posting my selfie with Tony Kornheiser, many of my friends either called, texted or messaged me, telling me to keep following my dreams, because everyone from my hometown is pulling for me,” Jordan says.

Like Jordan, Tracy was uncertain of what to expect when she left her home in China and traveled to U.S. for the first time. Tracy attends Xi’an International Studies University and is an alumna of TFAS’s Asia Institute on Political Economy (AIPE) program in Hong Kong. She says she was surprised and pleased by DC’s diverse culture and its commitment to activism.

“I have met so many wonderful people this summer in this awesome city, whether they are working on Capitol Hill, for the Washington Post or on K Street,” Tracy says of her experience. “They are open, intelligent and aware of the world that exists around them—and are continuously thinking of ways to give back to it.”

photo of Tracy Tian with prof  BenedettoDuring her time in IPJ Tracy interned with Radio America. Through her internship, she was able to expand her career horizons and add to her professional portfolio. She also participated in IPJ’s internship seminar course, where she was able to study under Professor Richard Benedetto, a former political columnist and White House Correspondent for USA Today.

With print, television and now radio media experience on her resume, Tracy says she has learned to keep an open mind when it comes to choosing a career path.

“The most exciting part of an adventure is the uncertainty ahead,” she says. “Participating in IPJ offered me a unique chance to meet so many great professionals and I truly appreciate that…I still have tons to learn and to explore.”

Written by Kristin Underwood, Program Advisor – Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary ServiceLLB

Laura Lee Burkett is a rising senior at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, majoring in English Literature and receiving minors in political science & classical studies. Born and raised in Mississippi, Laura Lee hasn’t always had the opportunity to be immersed in new, diverse experiences. Upon receiving information from TFAS, she knew DC was the place to spend her final summer before senior year. She was especially fascinated by the philanthropic nature of the Institute on Philanthropy of Voluntary Service because of her interest in the nonprofit sector.

Laura Lee spent her summer interning for Mentors, Inc., the only citywide, one-on-one, open enrollment mentoring program serving high school-aged youth. The mentors are role models who provide the guidance, support, knowledge and love the students need to become successful adults. Laura Lee’s internship focused on program development and she is currently completing a summer long project where she revamped and recreated the mentor orientation process. She is also helping plan a back to school event for all of the student/mentor pairs.

Her favorite part of her internship has been the hands on work she’s been asked to do.  “It’s really awesome to have my supervisors believe in me and utilize the work I’m doing,” Laura Lee said. “Additionally, every meeting my supervisor has had, whether it is consulting with individuals from the Department of Justice, recruiting mentors from DC law firms or visiting schools where our mentees attend, I’ve been invited to come along and offer input.”

After Laura Lee completes her senior year, she hopes to attend law school in the fall of 2015. She is especially interested in public service law and constitutional law, but knows that is certainly subject to change.

Upon reflecting on her internship, classes, fundraising and nonprofit work from this summer, Laura Lee knows TFAS was a rewarding and worthwhile experience. “I think the most rewarding part of my TFAS experience is seeing the common phrase manifest: what you get out of life is really only equivalent to what you put into it,” she said. “We’ve all worked so hard this summer, and at times it seems impossible, but the lifelong friends, lessons and connections we acquired makes it all worth it.”



Written by Pat DiFrancesco, Program Advisor – Institute on Economics and International Affairs

Mitchell, BrycePursuing a degree in International History with a focus in Africa and the Middle East, Bryce Mitchell aspires to represent the United States as a Defense Attaché in one of its numerous embassies across the globe.  As a current student at The United States Air Force Academy and the Institute on Economics and International Affairs, he is preparing himself to accomplish this and so much more.

At the academy, Bryce is a hurdler on the track team and serves as one of the cadets in charge of international programs. In this position, he acts as a liaison for fellow cadets and incoming students looking to study abroad and explore international issues. “My environment at the academy is really structured. I have a busy schedule, but I appreciate every moment.”

Being accustomed to his schedule at the academy, Bryce hasn’t had much trouble transitioning into the rigorous TFAS summer. “It’s one of the reasons I love this program,” Bryce said. “It helps you grow and allows you to take advantage of opportunities.”

This summer Bryce is interning at the Rumsfeld Foundation where he assists with all daily operations in the office. “One day I might be taking notes during one of our meetings with microfinance partners, the next day I could be accompanying Mr. Rumsfeld to one of his speaking events, the possibilities are endless.”

Bryce’s favorite moment during the summer thus far was an extensive conversation he had with Mr. Rumsfeld on a variety of topics. While sharing stories in Rumsfeld’s office, the two realized they even had some experiences in common. They both attended the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico as boy scouts. “He went in 1949, and I went in 2008,” Bryce said. “We even shared our experiences with all of the bears and rattlesnakes we encountered while there”.

After graduation, Bryce plans to continue studying international issues related to Africa and the Middle East at either The George Washington University or the University of Calgary. “After getting my masters, I intend to enter flight school and hopefully fly a fighter jet like the A-10 Warthog or the F-35 Lightning if they ever finish it,” he said. “After flying for a few years, I can then focus on my career at a United States embassy.”


Written by Sarah Meirose, Program Advisor – Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems

RebekkahRecent Portland State University graduate Rebekkah Brainerd’s first summer in DC has proven to be one full of new experiences and new friends. While living in the nation’s capital, she has found the city is full of amazing people, architecture and cultural diversity. She has also recognized a sense of community through her internship and home environments, an element that has positively impacted her summer. The former political science major is interning at Children’s Environmental Health Network.

Her TFAS internship has been a great experience thus far. “There’s this really relaxed, community atmosphere in the office. It feels like everyone is really working together, almost like a little family.” While the majority of her duties in the office are comprised of administrative work, “Our supervisors are always asking us what we want to work on, what experiences we want to gain, etc. They’re such kind hearted people, and it’s nice to see that side of DC when there is this big perception of power hungry individuals everywhere.”

Outside of work, Rebekkah enjoys interacting with other students she has met through TFAS. “My favorite thing overall is interacting with all of the amazing people here. Everyone is so incredible and smart, and I find myself almost daily engaging in these intense debates with people from all different perspectives.”

As an Oregon native, Rebekkah was surprised by various aspects of Washington in comparison to Portland. “DC is more driven and motivated; morning rush hour is really fascinating in how organized and synchronized it is!” Her favorite parts of the city include the artistic culture, cute shops and neat places to eat, specifically in Georgetown and Chinatown.

Already, Rebekkah realizes her professional growth as a result of her summer in DC through TFAS. “Each person has to make it their own… being in a place like this really fosters advancement as a person in figuring out one’s own self, perspective and mindset.”


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