Written by Emily Towe, Program Advisor for the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service and the Legal Studies Institute. Emily was a former DC intern with HandsOn Greater DC Cares and will begin her second year at Albany Law School this fall. Upon completion of her studies she hopes to work in the field of domestic violence prosecution.
It’s finally here! You have arrived in Washington, DC and are about to embark on an incredible summer adventure. Excitement aside, you’re probably asking yourself: Now what? What am I supposed to do for fun? Where can I go if I have some (rare) free time? Who should I talk to at work and other events?
First of all, there are many amazing things to do around the city that are entirely FREE. Always the best word to hear when you’re coming to DC on an intern’s budget. There are 11 Smithsonian Museums located around the National Mall, so you will find great exhibits no matter where your interests lie. If a museum has its own Metro stop, it has to be pretty cool. Whether it’s the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, or the American History Museum, they’re a great place to expand your mind while staying cool in the air conditioning.
The demanding schedule of a DC intern will keep you fairly busy this summer. But when you have the chance to embrace some free time, a great way to spend it is out on the National Mall. You can go for a walk or run, play a sport, or even lay in the grass with a good book. Washington, DC is full of office buildings and professionals, but every once in a while the suits come off and the plush green lawns fill up with city folk taking in a breath of fresh air.
Networking is at the very core of living in Washington, DC. Most people here are either looking for opportunities or know someone who is hiring. It is a great place for future leaders in the nonprofit, economic, business, government, and international affairs arenas, to make as many connections as possible. Who knows? The person you sit next to on the metro could introduce you to your future boss. The point is, get out there. Shake hands, make conversation, and be memorable.
DC has a lot to offer to people in all fields of work and from all backgrounds. You just have to put yourself out there, work hard, and have some fun.