May 4, 2023

LeadershipProfessional Development

Still Looking for a Washington DC Internship? Here is Where to Look!

By: Anthony Miragliotta

If you are a college student in DC or attending a college where they have a DC-based semester program, interning in DC is definitely a must. There are many valuable internship sites where you can hone in on a multitude of topics like public policy, politics, and history. I was able to intern in DC during my Junior year of college. It was an amazing opportunity that I truly will never forget. I highly encourage all interested that want to intern in DC to do it while you are still in college. Below are some of the internship sites worth looking into!

1. American Legislative Exchange Council

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a non-profit organization focusing on state-level policy initiatives. When I was in college, I interned at ALEC in their public affairs department. I still remember my first day there as it was yesterday. I felt welcomed right from the get-go and I was treated like I was part of a family. My bosses truly cared for my success. 

In my first few days on the job, they took me out for lunch to get to know me better and what I looked forward to accomplishing during my time at ALEC. Unfortunately, my time in the office was cut short due to COVID-19 but the professional skills, relationships, and projects I worked on while I was there helped me tremendously in my career. Everything I learned from ALEC I still use to this day. During my time at ALEC, and even after my internship ended, I have never encountered a single person who had something bad to say about ALEC. Everyone I have talked to has said how great of a place ALEC is and that they truly care for your success. When applying to internships, ALEC should definitely be at the top of your list!

2. Capitol Hill

Interning on Capitol Hill can open up a wide variety of opportunities. Many Hill interns go on to be promoted to be a staffer in the congressional office they interned for. Interning on Capitol Hill is regarded as a must-do in DC although it is not the end of the world if it is not what you are looking for. Many people who have interned at Capitol Hill have enjoyed it immensely. One of my friends was also recently promoted from intern to staff assistant. Capitol Hill opportunities offer immense opportunities for growth and connections that will last a long time.

3. Hill Committees

Hill Committees are the partisan campaign committees that help elect representatives from the respective party to the House or the Senate. (i.e. National Republican Congressional Committee). These committees get involved in highly competitive elections to send as many resources as possible. You will be required to do opposition research, data analysis, and a whole lot more. If you are interested in being a part of high-profile campaigns these are internship sites for you.

4. Smithsonian

There are numerous museums in DC where visitors can learn about multiple topics. Many of the activities you will be doing in the museum of your choice will involve a heavy amount of research and showing visitors around the museum. In addition, you will be able to know the ins and outs of the museum of your choice. The connections you will meet here will last a long time as many of the people who work here will have connections at other top museums across the country. If you have a passion for history, this is the place for you!

5. The White House

The White House is an extremely prestigious internship opportunity. There are many departments where you can work in where you will gain valuable experience. I know a few people who have interned in the White House in previous administrations and mentioned how they enjoyed their time there. I also know 2 former White House employees who also enjoyed their time in the White House. If you want to intern for the White House, definitely get started early! They take in applications for the following semester.