Internships attract students from across the country to D.C. and remain one of the main reasons students are first attracted to GW. For many students internships are vital ingredient for a strong r?sum?, providing real-world experience for a future a job.
D.C. offers a myriad of internships opportunities from congressional offices to the National Institutes of Health.
Sophomore Elliot Miller said he interned for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee in the last two years, and he did not earn a cent.
Miller advises students to take advantage of the District.
“The main thing GW has to offer is D.C.,” he said. “You might as well (intern) in a city where it matters.”
The District is known to many as the “internship capitol of the world,” and the city flourishes with summer interns. Thousands of college-age students come to D.C. to live and get real world experience in the workforce.
Freshman Corinne Reed interns at the American Association of University Women. Once a week Reed lobbies in front of Congress and talks to legislators. Reed said she never feels unequal to anyone she works with to despite rumors that interns only make coffee and file papers.
“I am doing what people are doing that are part of the organization,” she said. “They have treated me with the utmost respect.”
Reed said it is more than just looking good on your resume and that she doesn’t mind that her internship is unpaid.
“You can learn so much in a classroom but it’s not like actually going out and doing it,” Reed said. “I feel that I am actually accomplishing something and helping others.”
Students who have spent a summer in D.C. know that the city is filled with interns from around the country.
Sara Heft, a sophomore at Smith College in Massachusetts, will spend the summer in D.C. to intern at The Anti-Defamation League, a non-governmental organization.
“Everything related to government is (in D.C.),” she said. “Washington seems more manageable and less expensive than New York, plus there are more college students around which makes it more fun.”
Smith College offered to pay for part of her expenses because her internship is not paid. Heft said she looks forward to the experience.
“It will help me to try to decide what I want to do after college,” she said.