Students Learn, Network in Washington D.C. Internships

Galloway, N.J. – The Washington Internship Program gives Stockton University students the opportunity to live, work, and study in the Washington D.C., metropolitan area.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges, The Washington Center has adapted, offering both in-person and virtual opportunities.  For fall 2020, 11 Stockton students are participating, nine of them in person and two virtually.

Carmenchu Mendiola, chief marketing officer for The Washington Center, said they first offered virtual internships over the summer and their survey data show that the quality of the experience was comparable to the in-person experience.

“While the in-person option will continue to hold significant value both to our students and our internship sites, we are excited about the ability to provide access to a quality remote professional experience to students who do not have the option to move to Washington D.C.” Mendiola said.

The Washington Internship Program at Stockton is coordinated by Associate Professor of Political Science Michael Rodriguez who has helped make Stockton’s program one of the largest and most successful.

The internship is both academic and para-professional experience and is open to all majors. Students intern with private businesses, no

Several students who are currently in the program shared their experience to date:

Marian “Mari” Yalong; Hometown: Cliffside Park; Major: Economicsmari yalong
Internship: Internal Revenue Service

Q: Why did you want to do the Washington Internship program?

I wanted to experience living in the city and increasing my knowledge base of working in the public sector. I saw the Washington Internship program to be the perfect opportunity to spend a semester away from campus and decide on where I would want to end up post-graduation.

 Q: What type of work have you been doing for your internship?

It began with a lot of knowledge building, networking, and providing some support to clients from what I learned, but now it has evolved to my appointment as Project Lead for marketing efforts of the fiscal year 2021. I work with the other interns to produce ads and flyers to market our Treasury Acquisition classes which allows professionals to receive certification.  

Q: What have you learned from the experience?

I have learned that there is a lot of authentication to go through when working with very sensitive information related to the IRS and all its clients. In order to access anything, it all has to be approved with a lengthy process, so ensuring to do something ahead of time is very important when deadlines exist.

Q: Would you recommend it to others?  Why?

This internship really evolves around your skill base, and as long as you are vocal about what you want to do and how the internship can help you grow as a professional, I think it is worth it. Personally, I also really love the DC city culture, and I hope to actually move here after I graduate.

andrew nashAndrew Nash; Hometown: Wall; Major: Communications Studies
Internship: CommCore Consulting (virtual)

Q: Why did you want to do the Washington Internship program?

The Washington Internship program was always talked up by professors during Stockton classes and after hearing a presentation from a Stockton and Washington Center alumni, I was sold on the experience. Having a professional experience to prepare for life after college while still in college is such an important opportunity to have.

Q: What type of work have you been doing for your internship?

At CommCore, I have been researching clients and potential clients to reach out to, writing pitch letters, posting to social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook), and editing videos to post to the website. Helping the rest of the staff as the only intern on the roster gives me the opportunity to get hands on experience in all different departments of the company.

Q: What have you learned from the experience?

I have been able to learn how to reach out to clients and what is expected of someone in the professional job world. Also, learning the importance of “branding” for many different things; such as for the company, or yourself - helping to strengthen the brand image of the company while being able to improve and perfect skills that I can use to help myself in the future; being authentic.

Q: Would you recommend it to others?  Why?

I would recommend the Washington Internship Program to everyone going forward. The Washington Center and professional workplace experience have given me the ability to make new contacts through networking and acquire new skills while improving on current skills. The experience has pushed me further and further out of my comfort zone, but to use a quote we were told going into this internship: “Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” I am happy to have taken advantage of this opportunity and hope to encourage others to do the same.

sarah buffaloboyName: Sarah BuffaloBoy; Hometown: Collingswood; Major: Political Science
Internship: National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)

Q: Why did you want to do the Washington Internship program?

I wanted to partake in the Washington Internship Program to develop a better understanding of how the political system functions on both a micro and macro level. I was particularly interested at examining the relationship between the federal government, state government, and Sovereign First Nations.

Q: What type of work have you been doing for your internship?

NCRC strives to create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers, and financial institutions to end discrimination in lending, housing and businesses while working with underserved communities to promote better access for banking services, affordable housing, promotion of small businesses, and the creation of jobs to reinvigorate these communities.

As a Development and Communications Intern, I work with two different departments to research grant opportunities, and communicate to NCRC members the research and opportunities we are involved in.

There are also a multitude of platforms we use each day such as Slack, Mailchimp, Meltwater, Excel, WordPress. Mailchimp allows me to create the newsletters that go out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Meltwater is a platform I use to create relevant contact list to use for our Press releases, and WordPress allows me to document NCRC affiliated articles into our database for future reference.

I also attend webinars, write up synopses, and work on my own published work within Field Notes. My most recent work was on the growing and diverse economy of Tribal Nations, and opportunities for companies to invest in Native-owned businesses.

Q: What have you learned from the experience?

I have learned a great deal from my time here at TWC already. Not only am I able to take away the hard skills of the various digital platforms we use at NCRC, but I am able to take away the communication and professional networking skills from my internship and the countless webinars provided by the Washington Center.

Q: Would you recommend it to others? Why?

I would 100% recommend the Washington Internship Program to others. It is an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to really develop yourself and views in the political sphere. With the internship, TWC activities, and ability to partake in meaningful work in D.C., you will hit the ground running!

Chloe Schulze; Hometown: Little Egg Harbor; Major: Business Managementchloe schulze
Internship: Small Business Administration, Office of Entrepreneurial Development 

Q: Why did you want to do the Washington Internship program?

 Originally, I applied because it seemed like an opportunity that would open a lot of doors for me in my career-- while gaining college credit.

Q: What type of work have you been doing for your internship?

I have been working on projects such as the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Bi-Weekly Newsletter, assisting on briefings for Associate Administrator's conference calls, updating the Women's Business Centers Informational Book, and participating in special projects that are set to launch later this month.   

Q: What have you learned from the experience?

I have learned what it is like working for a federal agency and how to live/commute in a busy city. Most importantly, I've narrowed down what I want to do after graduation, and made connections along the way to help me reach my goals. 

Q: Would you recommend it to others?  Why?

I would highly suggest this program to others if they want to build up their resume, connections, and network. Through The Washington Center, I have been able to have a "study abroad like" experience during these unprecedented times. The friendships I've made and the people I've encountered all encourage me to be my best self. 

More information on the program is on Stockton's Washington Internship Program web site.

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Diane D’Amico
Director of News and Media Relations
Galloway, N.J. 08205