Throughout my summer in D.C., there have been so many moments when I have stepped back and realized just how cool and unique my experiences here are. Here are just a few of my highlights:
- Summer Solstice celebration: On this night, all the Smithsonians stayed open late and had various performances, food stations, and activities. I went to the Arts and Industries and Hirshhorn Museums. It was a great opportunity to get to know my roommates early on and experience a relaxed, mature night out.
- Career/educational events at work: One of my favorite parts of my internship is the opportunity to learn from so many different people. I attended events about economics issues like occupational licensing, a panel featuring Brookings scholars from every department, Q&A’s with economists (and bagels), and graduate school presentations from schools such as Georgetown, Columbia, Michigan, Tufts, UNC, and Johns Hopkins. These conversations about our career goals also infiltrated into many conversations with coworkers.
- Visiting the Newseum: Yes, I have been here before, but seeing that it is my favorite museum and it will be closing at the end of the year, I made sure to go for a day this summer. Some of my favorite parts discussed FBI investigations, East/West Berlin media, top front pages throughout history, and Jon Stewart’s impact on political comedy. Overall, it made me see how impactful communications really can be in the world.
- Hill Drops: One of my major projects for my internship was to organize and distribute policy materials to over 600 senators, representatives, governors, etc. Though I usually just spoke to an intern when I went to each office, I did have the opportunity to visit all the Senate/House buildings and some famous politicians’ offices (everyone from Kamala Harris to Greg Pence!).
- Running into people I know: I have a wide network in D.C., including people from high school, Tulane, Sciences Po, and Brookings. Though it may seem like a big city, it is never too overwhelming, because every few days, I run into a new person. These random moments on the street or at Whole Foods with Katherine, Ashton, Maya, Susanna, Hannah, Shannon, and more have made me realize that wherever I go, I will always have connections.
- Networking in French: After a Brookings research analyst mentioned he went to Sciences Po for undergrad and grad school, I arranged a coffee meeting. As soon as he sat down, he said we should chat in French so I could get some practice. I was taken aback but couldn’t say no, so I spent the next forty minutes discussing work life in Paris vs. D.C., the Sciences Po application process, and my experience with PR and journalism in a language that I can apparently still use, even though it has been a while.
- Nighttime monumenting: We didn’t escape the tourists and the heat completely (these two things are a part of every D.C. summer experience), but seeing the monuments at night gave us a new perspective. When we needed an activity one night, I suggested going to the Lincoln, Vietnam, WWII, and Washington Monuments, which we were able to walk over to and check out.
- AEI/Brookings intern debate: For three hours, I got to watch my coworkers kill it as they debated a $15 minimum wage and the prioritization of international treaties. The best part was watching Drew, one of the THP research interns, debate, knowing how much effort he and many of the other ES interns had put into researching and planning over the weekend.
- So much art: Good art isn’t limited to Paris and Florence. My favorite art museum in D.C. is probably the Portrait Gallery, which includes portraits of every president, as well as many other notable Americans, and tells their stories. I also enjoyed going to the Philips Collection. I got a free pass through work and the exhibit about migration and displacement was especially engaging because of current political issues.
- European Union: I love being a part of such a large and well-respected intern class because we get invitations from other organizations (think tanks/research centers, lobbying groups, grad schools, etc.) to attend events around the city. One was held at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. It was interesting to learn about EU-US trade, as well as how politics in one region can affect the other, especially after studying much of this during my exchange semester.
- National Intern Day: And lastly, I can’t forget about National Intern Day, when Brookings interns did an Instagram takeover and the THP team surprised us with a beautiful variety of Baked & Wired cupcakes. It always feels good to be appreciated for the work I do and celebrate a productive, rewarding summer!
Of course, this is just the beginning of my list. Watching the sunset on the Georgetown Waterfront, eating at some of the best restaurants in the city, walking from home to Adams Morgan, the Mall, Chinatown, etc… Whether I’m at work or looking for a new opportunity to get out and explore the city, this summer has given me so many cool experiences.
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