DC Internship: Final Thoughts

This summer has been amazing. Full stop.

This has been, by far, the most fulfilling summer I’ve ever had. DC was wonderful, and I can’t wait to go back. The staff at NEMWI really cares about the interns, and I’m glad I had such a comfortable experience for my first internship and first extended DC stay. I am absolutely convinced that DC is the place for me, but it is not without its challenges. I’m thankful to NEMWI for helping me make those challenges easier.
I am ready to finish my last year of college strong. My schedule this year looks really exciting. I’m going into this year with a different perspective from previous years. I know what type of knowledge I need to gain to be successful in the workplace, and I have the chance to go acquire that knowledge before I start my career. Before this internship, I enjoyed school, but I was studying for the sake of studying. After this summer, I have more focus and defined purpose.
I still have mixed feelings about unpaid internships, but it has definitely been worth the expense for me. I have had the opportunity to grow, develop, and accomplish things this summer that I would never have been able to do without an internship. I am particularly grateful to NCI for making this experience possible.
If you’re considering an internship, particularly in DC, I highly recommend it. There are paid opportunities if you start looking early enough. There are also great Tulane resources to help defray the cost.
If you’re interested in working in DC right out of college, internships are almost required. Everyone I met in DC had interned. It also helps to be in DC if you’re trying to make connections and hear about new opportunities. My fellow interns and I would joke that we could make an entire internship out of going to briefings and public lectures. There are also wonderful programs like PLEN that help women learn to navigate the DC job market. One of the best connections I made all summer, I met at a Newcomb networking reception. There are a ton of helpful networks and organizations that are there to help young women succeed. Take advantage of those and follow up with the people you meet.
Now that I’m back in NOLA, I really miss DC, but I’m looking forward to going back as soon as I can.

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