By Stacey Dec, ’20

Though she had never visited Washington, D.C., Eloise Dimase-Nordling, ’18, took a leap of faith when she moved from Los Angeles to the capital with her twin sister for the summer. There, she pursued an internship at the Wilson Center, fulfilling a requirement for the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

Dimase-Nordling said that each day working at the Wilson Center was far from routine. The center is a non-partisan policy forum that aims to tackle global issues through independent research and open dialogue that lead to actionable policy ideas. The organization’s focus meant Dimase-Nordling was often working face-to-face with people who have a global platform and influence.

“I was helping to organize events where we had a whole bunch of political professionals come through the center,” Dimase-Nordling said.

In one case, she helped with a discussion panel called “The War on ISIS: The Forgotten Need for Congressional Authorization” between Senators Jeff Flake and Tim Kaine. She also assisted with events for vice president Mike Pence and the Wilson Center CEO Jane Harman.

The Wilson Center is organized regionally into programs that focus on countries such as Africa, Asia, and Russia. It also has domestic programs. Dimase-Nordling worked in the external relations office of the Wilson Center which exposed her to many of the regional programs. 

“The external relations center organized the events from every single center or institution, so I kind of got a taste of all of it which is pretty cool,” Dimase-Nordling said. “I was helping to organize and make sure all the events were going well.”

Dimase-Nordling said she also helped run the center’s social media outlets by summarizing articles that the Wilson Center published and events that it held.

On her first day, Dimase-Nordling’s boss asked if anyone could help make a Twitter list. After some quick Googling, Dimase-Nordling knocked on her boss’s office door and taught her how to create the list.

“I ended up getting more projects because she saw that I took the initiative to do something,” Dimase-Nordling said.

Dimase-Nordling, a double major in leadership studies and psychology, wanted an internship in D.C. after spending the previous summer interning at a political consultancy group. She said she wanted to combine the political focus she had last year with the leadership skills she has acquired in the classroom. In the future, Dimase-Nordling hopes to return to D.C. to pursue her career.

“This was my first internship where I was in a communications office, which I think is definitely what I want to go into because it combines aspects of both my majors,” Dimase-Nordling said. “This summer was great because I was able to get a really good experience within communications and the different aspects of it.”