The White House Internship Program: Letters to the President
August 23, 2011
12:00 PM EST
Prior to submitting my application as a White House intern I asked myself, “Can a broadcast journalist student really be welcomed by the Executive Office of the President?” I found that the answer was an overwhelming yes.
So many university students have the incorrect perception that the White House Internship Program is only for political science majors or students with political ambitions. The White House Intern Program is, in many ways, just like a college campus – made up of students from diverse backgrounds and scholastic interests. In fact, as a White House Intern, I learned that there was no better place for a student studying Communications than the White House.
I will not deny I found the application process challenging, but I also found it to be thrilling. It was by far the most daunting job interview I had ever experienced. But, after the application process was complete, I knew I wanted to be a part of something so special. My jubilation in being accepted into the program was not merely because I had been selected, but also because I knew that I would work with a dedicated White House team that shared the President's desire to encourage the public to share their insights and views with the Administration.
As an intern with the Office of Presidential Correspondence, I knew that arriving to work early was merely being on time and at times going home was not based on the clock. The hours were long, but it didn’t matter because I was doing a job that helped ensure that the American people were able to speak with their President. Our team listened to questions from the public regarding any issue they chose to share with the President. In addition, our team was charged with selecting mail representative of the public's sentiment, which was then included in the President’s daily briefing folder. Many of these letters received personal responses from the President, but most importantly the Executive Office was able to keep the pulse of a nation based on people’s calls, letters and emails.
My experience as a White House intern and the chance to work so closely with White House staff taught me not only how to be a diligent worker but how to be an inspiring employer. These skills are something I could never have learned in a classroom environment, and I feel quite strongly that every student should take time out from their campus life and consider becoming a part of the President's team.