During my time here in Washington I have learned a lot about myself in more ways than one. Academically, I have pushed limits that I never thought were possible for me in such a competitive environment. Taking the skills I have learned at WSU definitely provided a good background for me, but to be applying them it in such an intense situation was probably the best way to be perfected. Deadlines and important recipients pressured me to do my best work so that I made a good impression on my colleagues and our clients. Professionally, this internship has made me into the person I want to be when I am ready to apply for my first real job. Prior to this experience I had no idea how to navigate the professional world; how to dress, how to conduct myself, formalities for a meeting, etc…Again, they threw me right into these things, and I had to become an observer so that I could scope out what was and wasn’t acceptable in certain scenarios. Now I feel comfortable enough that I would be able to carry on to other settings and be able to act accordingly. Personally, I have learned a lot about myself throughout the semester. I now know that this is a field that I want to stay in for the rest of my life. Also, I have learned to read the news more, which was one of the habits I wish I had picked up soon, but my internship indirectly forced me to read the news in order to stay informed. Overall, I am pleased with the ways in which I have developed over the semester.
In accordance with the goals I set for myself, I had actually stayed in line with the goals that were set at the beginning of the semester. I wanted to be able to communicate more effectively in terms of writing and being able to speak publicly. Throughout the semester, both of those skills were put to the test and nobody was there to keep pushing me to do them. Whether it be sending out an important email to a member company, or writing an email for the whole office to see, it was important to be precise and error free. When it came to speaking publicly, I never really had to speak in front of a large group of people, but we did host many members of congress, important member company executives, and other business leaders at our office. When we had to speak with them we had to adhere to a specific etiquette that I could compare to speaking publicly. I am thankful that I had an internship that gave me the opportunity to grow without having to explicitly force me.
This semester has confirmed that being in the field of communication is something I am interested in for a life long career. More specifically, I confirmed that I liked dealing with political communication, and getting to work with members of congress and various media outlets had really sparked my interest further. I like the high pressure political environment of Washington and the prestige of working with upper level officials in the US government. The competitiveness of the people in this city really makes it easy to push yourself to do better with your work to one-up them. Prior to being involved with communication I was in education, and now that I have been exposed to the field, I would never want to go back.
Before I came down to Washington, I had all of these expectations of what it would be like to work in such an environment and to live in the city, and those expectations were met and in some cases passed. I wanted a job where I could make a difference in the company, and to deal with important people, and I had the opportunity to do both. This is a great organization to intern at because they give you the real life experience you need before you get into the actual workforce. Most other internships I have heard about don’t allow their interns to be as inclusive in the work that they do. Overall, I am please with everything I had been given the opportunity to take part in throughout my time here in Washington, DC.