Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute.
The American Enterprise Institute is always in constant flux. Constantly moving, constantly innovating, and constantly spreading the ideas of free-enterprise. Something is always happening with guest speakers and high ranking scholars from across the country who come to spread their ideas to both distinguished faculty and the youth. If you neglect to keep up with all the events and occasions you will be left behind on a lonely road because AEI is a train that is constantly moving forward. Acknowledging this fact, there is plenty to do as an intern at AEI. More specifically, I am an intern in their Academic Programs department. In the AEI summer honors program, I studied security policy and learned how we can defend America from external threats. However, now I am completely entrenched into their Academic Programs department where they mainly are responsible for all the AEI honors programs and their students. Academic programs also analyzes and distributes the work of AEI scholars, and maintains a network system that connects all AEI members across university campuses. My main duties have been to analyze data in Salesforce and see how students in AEI’s executive council are doing in each university campus. I have just been given a major project where I will be collecting all AEI scholarly articles about campus culture at universities. This collection will then be assembled into a booklet where the audience can read about what all the AEI scholars think about the heated political climate on college campuses. In general, I am using a lot of Excel, Microsoft Word, and Salesforce while also attending events. Furthermore, at the events, I will write reports on the speakers and how their lecture went while including all the questions and answers into my report.
My typical day is quite privileged if I must admit. I am very grateful that interns at AEI get free breakfast and lunch from a gourmet chef with all the food laid out like a Las Vegas buffet. I do not mean to brag one bit, but that is pretty amazing if I do say so. Starting off, I head to breakfast and I usually take my food into my office where I eat since the dining hall is packed full of superior workers and guests. I would love to network and get to know these high achieving individuals, but most tables are all reserved and interns get the bottom of the stick when it comes to dining room seating. I enter my office space and in a loud voice I say “Good morning AEI!” to be that one enthusiastic intern that brightens everyone’s 9 am morning. Sometimes my team responds with a warm salutation to match my friendliness, while sometimes they just smile and ignore like most East Coasters (sorry East Coasters). Nevertheless, I like starting off the day on a good note. I eat in my office while looking at my email to see what new Salesforce task I need to accomplish in the day. I then head to my supervisor to ask for any additional task and if I can do anything else to help with their workload. I then go to my desk and for the rest of my day I work on my summer project and other small tasks I need to accomplish. Lunch is free and delicious, what more can I say. I take my food to where a scholar is sitting or I take my food to any table where someone is alone and needs someone to talk to. It is a great way to meet important people and make friends since most interns are pretty shy and reserved, believe it or not. Then I am back in my office doing my project again and I leave at 5pm where I take one metro stop from DuPont Circle to Woodley Park.
One thing I learned since my last blog post is how to use Salesforce, Outlook, and how to perfect my resume. As an unpaid intern, AEI wants to repay interns by giving us what they can in professional and academic development. Therefore, they offer us free professional consulting on our resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews. With regards to Salesforce, knowing this contact database system is very important for me since many employers both in the private and public sectors use Salesforce to keep in contact with all their constituents and important contacts. It is a bit complicated at first, but I am adapting and doing my best to not make a single mistake. Outlook is not that important, but it is good to know how to use a different email server other than the generic Gmail. There is so much more to learn in this amazing capital and I cannot wait for what is in store next week.