Below is a guest post by Meghan Graf, LAS ’13, Political Science Major who is enrolled in the Internship Course, earning 3 credits for her internship as Majority Staff Intern for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
I started my internship journey over a year ago when I secured an internship with a local congressional campaign. I was able to obtain this position through several Villanova alumni that were employed by the campaign. This internship allowed me to get my foot in the door and explore other opportunities within the political field while gaining the most crucial thing of all for an undergraduate student: professional experience. I used the opportunity as a stepping-stone towards other internships in an effort to professionally advance myself and narrow my interests. Ultimately, through these small stepping-stone internships, the contacts I made, and the experience I obtained, I was able to secure my dream internship at the Committee on Ways and Means.
I applied through this opportunity online but made sure to employ all my resources to secure the internship. This included contacting the members’ campaigns that I interned on. However, what really helped me secure the internship was my own personal experience in several different types of political environments. This showed the committee staff that I truly understood the political process and had experience in an office environment. Essentially, my experience gave me a boost compared to the other candidates.
My advice for you if you’re looking for an internship is that everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re not quite at the level of your dream internship, think about a plan that can get you there. Consider interning during the school year instead of limiting yourself to just the summer. The more experience and skills you can develop to turn your current opportunity into your next opportunity, the better.