D.C. & Me: My Dream Internship... and How Dartmouth Paid For It
Long time no see (or blog)! I just got back after my second Dartmouth "off" term (for more on "off" terms, click here), and I have so much to catch y'all up on.
So what exactly was I up to? Well, this past fall, I was interning at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA for short)! There, I got to be a part of economic research that goes directly to the President to help inform policy decisions. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. So despite my love of New England falls, I packed my bags for Washington D.C.
I absolutely loved it! The work I did focused on policy at the epicenter of political attention, so no day on the job ever looked the same. One minute I'd find myself drafting a memo on the opioid crisis, and the next I'd find myself hunting down the volume of dairy exports from New Zealand (true story!). The work was really different from the classroom, where a single research question can take months to develop. At the CEA, a single Tweet could launch us into an end-of-day deadline. It was like taking a crash course on an array of hot-button political issues. I learned a lot.
Most importantly, I got to work with some of the coolest and smartest people I've ever met. I met fellow interns from all over the country and across the political spectrum whom I hope will be lifelong friends. I also had the chance to get lunch with leading economic scholars and political advisers, and I was even paired directly with a senior mentor on my first day (we're still in touch)!
Beyond my tasks and projects as an intern, I was also on my own in a new city. While starting a new life in an unfamiliar place seems daunting, Dartmouth had my back. I got connected with Juliann, another Dartmouth '21, who also happened happened to be interning in D.C. over the fall. We hit it off really quickly and spent most of our free time exploring our new home! This meant eating (too much) delicious food, wandering through D.C.'s many museums, walking along the waterfront, and (my personal favorite) spending hours chatting in our favorite ice cream shop in the city.
At this point, you might be wondering: How could you afford this? The answer is: I couldn't! I got funding through the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth (lovingly called "Rocky") that helped cover the cost of rent, transportation, and food for the duration of my internship. Eric, Rocky's program officer, also periodically checked in with me to make sure everything was going well too!
All in all, D.C. was nothing short of magical.