Written by Kendrick Lewis – Program Advisor, Institute on Business and Government Affairs
As a political science major and a rising senior, I knew that I not only needed hands on internship experience to complement my education, but also that I wanted that experience to take place in the heart of American politics: Washington, D.C.
When I was accepted into the summer 2014 Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS), I was thrilled to have the opportunity to apply all of the knowledge I had acquired in the classroom to an internship position in D.C. During the enrollment process, I listed my top two internship interests as the environment and education. TFAS paved the way for my position working with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), a small non-profit funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
During my time at NAAEE, and due to the nature of non-profit work, I engaged in a number of projects – blogging, contacting funders, engaging members – all of which worked in effort to assemble the larger goal of implementing environmental education standards. With the help of my supervisors I attended numerous meet-and-greets, and grew a broader understanding of what one may accomplish in the realm of environmental issues.
TFAS supplemented my internship experience with professional development seminars, events, and opportunities to engage fellow TFAS alumni. During these events, I learned not only the significance of networking in D.C., but also the importance of cultivating lasting relationships.
While my summer in D.C. was nothing short of go, go, go, not all of it was work-oriented. D.C. is a city with a rich history and a diverse culture. My friends and I took advantage of every opportunity to see a new sight, taste a new cuisine, and overall enjoy what the city had to offer outside of work and class.
I encourage this summer’s students to say, “yes.” Say yes to that extra hour of reading material. Say yes to the spot in a professional development seminar that just opened up. Say yes to the friend, colleague, or supervisor that wants to have coffee. And most of all, say yes to a life-changing summer!