12 September 2011

Parting Words

Posted by cmdowns under: Summer 2011 .

Well, my internship has been humming along and I am extremely pleased at the way things have turned out. I have friends who have spent their internships copying papers while I have gotten to do some really interesting stuff (thanks to my great supervisor!). Living with other William and Mary students (through the College’s DC housing) has allowed me to make some great friends that I probably would never have met if we weren’t in the same summer program. I have gotten to read things that most people will never read, go places that most people will never go and meet people that you usually only see on TV. The summer internship experience has been a fantastic way to complement my academic course load and taught me a lot.

There are two things I would like to pass on as I wrap up my summer. First, the Summer Security Institute that I am a fellow in has been fantastic! I encourage anyone interested in national security to apply to the program. The College’s Washington Office does a great job setting up events and tours and will also help out with the internship search by passing along special opportunities if you are accepted in the program.

Second, be sure to network during your internship. I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times but it bears repeating. I’ve always disliked the idea of networking because it seems forced and awkward but, in reality, networking can be just grabbing lunch with some other interns. They may not necessarily help your chances of getting a job but they are still a valuable contact. It’s all about building relationships that are both professional and personal. Even if you are not trying to get a job in the particular field it helps to know a variety of people because they help expand your base of knowledge and improve yourself. Before I left my internship everyone from my team was giving me their business card and telling me to keep in touch because we had become friends, not just coworkers. Even if I were to never go back to work there (although I probably will go back) I know there are people I can reach out to for a quick lunch if I move there after graduation.

In fact, if you ever need help in the internship search feel free to reach out to me. I am always glad to help people if I can. I’ve truly enjoyed my internship and the people I’ve met along the way. Internships are some of the best ways to spend a summer and if you have the chance I would recommend taking it, you may not get that opportunity again!

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