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Rhodes Connections Get You Started on Internships

Publication Date: 1/16/2013

Today, our five-part series on internships in D.C. comes to a close, picking up again with writer Caroline Ponseti ’15, who has some Rhodes-specific tips for students thinking about a D.C. summer internship.

My summer on the Hill was one of the greatest experiences I have had. I met a lot of memorable people that influenced my potential career path: fellow interns, staffers, and a hardworking senator. I now am sure that I want to be a part of the political process.

Interning in D.C. gives students insights about the political process that cannot be gained through a classroom setting. It truly reinforces the value of a liberal arts education. You really can’t just learn about some subjects in a classroom setting; you have to be immersed in them. Rhodes provides the resources to do such things.

Rhodes is an incredible institution that wants you to thrive on campus and in the real world. Use these resources.

·Talk to the plethora of professors who are eager to help you succeed and would be delighted to write you a recommendation to help get you there.

·The plentiful resources provided through Career Services aided me throughout the entire application process. Associate Director of Career Services Amy Ware guided and advised me step-by-step. Not only did Career Services help me format and polish my résumé, but they also helped me draft a cover letter, a task which was previously foreign to me.

·No matter where you intern, find a mentor. Since an internship helps you decide which career path to pursue, it is helpful to find a person who has been in your shoes that can give you advice. When I was interning in the Press Shop of Sen. Vitter’s office, I became close with Lindsay, the deputy press secretary who was only five years my senior. If you meet someone who is in a position that you aspire to, ask him or her about the path that got them there. When I asked Lindsay for career advice, we began to develop a mentor/mentee relationship. She introduced me to social media outlets like LinkedIn and even took me with her to the Women’s Congressional Staff Association conference, where I learned valuable advice on how to make it on “the Hill” and eventually thrive there, which someday I hope to do.

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