Interning in our Nation’s capital often brings to mind iconic images of striking monuments, political leaders, and historic moments. However, my time in the White House Internship Program has been most affected by my daily interactions with colleagues, career government officials, and the custodial staff. Seeing the biggest names and most recognizable faces do not always lead to the most meaningful experiences.
One seemingly routine moment in particular has remained with me throughout the summer. One afternoon, while grabbing a quick lunch, I sat down to eat with one of our building’s custodians. Over the course of our meal, I had the good fortune to hear some stories from his long tenure working in the executive branch. Over lunch, I learned from a man who has had a consequential impact upon the day-to-day operations of one of our Nation’s foremost government buildings. Beyond his daily tasks, he has had the chance to meet several Presidents and even speak with one about important issues facing the American people today.
Washington D.C. is often condemned by critics and pundits as a town consumed by partisan infighting, personal favors, and political intrigue. However, I’ve found through everyday conversations similar to my lunch with the building’s custodian that the executive branch is filled with many hardworking and patriotic Americans working to improve the lives of their fellow citizens and to make our country great again.
Reed McMurchy is from Connecticut and is a rising junior studying Government at Harvard University. Reed is a member of the Summer 2017 White House Internship Program in the Office of Management and Administration.