Having an internship in Washington D.C. was a transformative experience for both my professional and personal development. On January 24th 2018, I arrived at the Washington Center’s Residential and Academic Facility, ready to begin my new internship. Little did I know, my path to finding my perfect internship wouldn’t be the smoothest, but my Juniata education provided me with the resilience and resources I needed to get there.
Throughout my time in college, I’ve heard tales about how powerful our alumni network was, but I never really believed it until I experienced it firsthand. It was spring semester, and I was scrambling to find a second internship after my first one unfortunately fell through. The wonderful Dr. Worley, the internship coordinator for the Communication Department, was my hero and connected me with Natalie Hershberger, a Juniata alum who was working at George Washington University. Natalie informed me of Running Start, a nonprofit that empowers young women to get involved in politics.
It sounded like the perfect fit for me, so I reached out to them and was quickly accepted as an intern there! I was thrown into so many interesting projects right away. My first day just so happened to be one week before Running Start’s biggest event of the year, the Young Women to Watch Awards. From that point on, I knew that my internship was going to be a fun and memorable experience.
Being in D.C. allowed me to have so many once in a lifetime moments. From being able to explore the museums, monuments, and different parks, to getting to see Hillary Clinton speak in person, I had the true D.C. experience. I learned that all of the D.C. Smithsonian museums are free, so I made it my goal to visit all of them, and I did. Also, living in an apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood immersed me in all of the city’s unique culture. I wouldn’t have had all of these amazing experiences had I not interned at Running Start.
Interested students should definitely consider participating in a Washington Center internship. It’s not just for students who study politics. Juniata and the Washington Center have connections all over the city, not to mention the large alumni network there. I loved being able to live in Washington D.C. and I even hope to move there after I graduate!
–Alli Goulden ’19, Political Communication POE, fast running, hard working feminist