As my last final ended on June 12, 2014, I knew that in two short days I would embark across the country on one of the scariest and exciting experiences in my life. Months earlier I secured an internship in Washington, D.C. with a U.S. Senator’s office and was anticipating this moment. When I finally landed in Washington, it hit me that I was alone in the foreign land inside the beltway. I arrived at my house, met all of my roommates, and got ready to go to work early Monday morning.
The first couple weeks were challenging, I was in a fast-paced and demanding environment surrounded by people who seemed like experts on everything. However I settled in and quickly gained an understanding of how the office was structured and the type of work I needed to complete. I gained an understanding of completing administrative tasks such as reading and sorting constituent emails, answering phones and communicating with constituents, giving Capitol tours, and seeking additional duties. Soon I began writing memorandums destined for the Senator, working on letters to constituents, and ended my internship doing press clips as well. I found that through perseverance, positivity, and hard work I could achieve anything.
While I might not have been the smartest or most-qualified person in the office, I knew I could make that up with hard work, professionalism, and positivity. The experience turned out to be the single greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life and my favorite co-curricular activity through Oregon State University. Not only was I living my dream in Washington, D.C. but also I was receiving credit for my work and research. I came back to Oregon State in the fall closer to graduating than when I left. The level of support and opportunity provided from Oregon State helped make my internship successful and created memories to last a lifetime.
When the nerves finally calmed down and I got to living my dream, things fell into place. No matter what you’re interested in as a college student, find a way to make your dream a reality and soon you’ll be able to write about it and unequivocally say that it was your favorite experiential learning opportunity.