It’s the Final Countdown

Coming into D.C., I didn’t expect to have an experience any different than the ones that I have previously had before. I have already done the study abroad thing, so I know what it’s like to be in a foreign environment for a while. I have already moved out of state from home when I moved to college, so the independent thing wasn’t unusual for me either. I honestly just expected to come to Washington D.C., work all summer and get some experience under my belt, make some connections, and leave with whatever knowledge I gained in the work force.

But Washington D.C. has been so much more than that. I’ve learned everything from how important it is to stand on one side of the elevator to what the true purpose of an internship is. Luckily, every week i’ve been keeping track of something new that i’ve learned. So let’s reflect on my journey so far.

  • I’ve learned the importance of not only making connections but making friends as well. It was stressed often that networking was going to be a crucial part of our summer here. And it definitely was! But it is also nice to have friends to have the occasional lazy day with or just to go grab drinks with. Work is everything but there definitely has to be a balance of play too!
  • Now, along with balancing work and play, time management is EVERYTHING! Two months is really not a long enough time to explore a city that has so much to offer. I’ve learned to take advantage of every moment that I possibly can! After work and on the weekends!
  • I’ve learned all about the history of D.C. statehood, and why the local license plates read “taxation without representation”.
  • You would think that, being someone who is blogging right now and who has currently blogged before, I would know the importance of language. But this summer has shined a new light on just how crucial language is. Especially when you’re working in a development office and asking people for money!
  • Internships are for more than just getting experience. They are a way to try out different career paths. You may go into an internship thinking you want to do one thing, and come out wanting to do something completely different, and that’s okay! The last thing you want to do is get stuck in the wrong career field so it’s very important to test the water and see what’s out there while you can!
  • When applying for jobs, there is always going to be a set list of skills that are going to be required. It is one thing to say you have those skills, and it’s another thing seeing them in action. I’ve seen my team come together to make up the most efficient fulfillment team this department has ever seen. And when the task is finally done, it is very rewarding that everyone got to be apart of it.

So, the evidence above goes to show that there has been many different things I have been able to take away from my time here in D.C.. But I think the most important lesson that this experience has given me, would be that there is always something to be learned. Keep an open mind. Pick your boss’s brain. Listen to your friends talk about their interest and knowledge in different fields. Talk about the different types of neighborhoods people grew up in, their cultures may be different than yours. Learn how to take public transportation. Always think of ways to perfect your 30 second elevator pitch. Learn how to spice up regular spaghetti so you don’t get burnt out on your cheap everyday lunch. Ask for recommendations.

There’s so much to be taken out of an amazing experience like this, even in such a short amount of time. I’m amazed at how much being in D.C. has done for me. Not just as a young professional, but as a person too.

I’m bummed that there is only a week and a half left. But I’m going to spend every minute enjoying it while I can! So hopefully the next time I post, I won’t be able to stop typing! Until then!


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