Written by Michael Herndon – Program Advisor, International Affairs
During my TFAS Summer I interned at the National Immigration Forum with their development team. My previous work experience was in kitchens and grocery stores, so transitioning to a professional office environment was challenging but rewarding. My day to day work consisted of prospect research, donor outreach, and various other exciting projects. I did my best to take charge of my own experience and so I made sure to also get involved with things outside of development like lobbying. Overall, I learned a ton about non-profit management, advocacy work, and immigration.
TFAS exposes students to various DC-related career paths throughout the program. TFAS would regularly bring in people from different careers, like defense contracting or the Peace Corps, to talk to students about their work and answered student questions during small group sessions. These sessions were invaluable to me and helped me decide where I wanted my career to take me. The Mentor Program was also very beneficial for me. Having direct access and unlimited one-on-one time with someone who lives and works in DC was very important to my overall experience. I was able to ask my mentor very specific questions about different career paths.
Overall, I think my favorite part of the program was meeting other students from around the country who were also passionate about politics, DC, and being the best that they could be. I still talk to people from my summer at TFAS and I hold those relationships very close to my heart.