When I first got off the airplane at Dulles Airport, the only thing I could think about was how cold I was. Leaving Arizona, it was a hundred degrees and in Washington D.C. it was sixty-five degrees. The weather has warmed up considerably since I have been in D.C., providing perfect weather in which to explore all that D.C. has to offer.
I feel a sense of amazement everywhere I go in this beautiful city. There is so much history in each building I have been to and I have learned many interesting facts about the city. Did you know that the highest court in the land is not actually the Supreme Court? It’s actually the basketball court on the floor above the Supreme Court. That is just one of the countless fun and interesting facts I have learned while touring D.C. The tour guides have been incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I would definitely recommend taking tours while in Washington D.C.
I also have been very impressed by the network of people I have met on this trip. Each Capitol Scholar brings a different perspective. It has made for interesting conversation and sharing of ideas. For example, my roommate has very different political views from mine, but she has already given me a different perspective. I learned a big life lesson from various individuals. One of the other Capital Scholars and I had a heart-to-heart. It opened my eyes to snap judgments and how wrong they can be. I have learned so much from everyone on this trip already and I am excited to learn more from each person. I already very thankful for all the people I have met so far.
While America runs on Dunkin’, Washington, D.C. runs on interns. The first few days at my internship have been interesting to stay the least. Everyone in the lobbying firm I work with hilariously contributes to an organized chaos. There is a lot of yelling and even more playful banter. The very first day, they threw me and the other interns right into work. I got to sit in on a meeting with high-ranking staff of a committee. The biggest takeaway I had from the meeting was the need for personal connections in lobbying.the policy. It is important to build personal connections so people trust you and have faith in your policy. Then the next day, I was tasked with researching a topic and writing a summary about it. I am enjoying the chaos and fast pace, though. I am looking forward to learning about contracted lobbying. My bosses promised some different photo opportunity with high ranked officials. I will let you know if I get a photo with Obama or Trump!
I learned many different lessons throughout my first week in Washington. Some I have discussed throughout this post. Another lesson I learned was that the metro system is not as complex as you would think. I also learned that it is very easy to get lost in D.C. Overall, the best lesson I learned was from one of the guests at the ASU alumni event. He told us to make sure we experience everything. That is my plan while I am here: experience everything I possibly can with the incredible people in this setting. While my experience with state politics is already vastly different than the experience I have gained thus far. I am looking forward to further comparing and contrasting local government to federal government. I am interested in seeing the difference between working for the government versus the private sector.
This summer is going to have a ton of adventure and hopefully even more stories. It is going to be a wild ride but I am ready to take this city by the horns. Wish me luck!