One of a series of articles about Jepson students' 2010 summer internships.

Hometown: Elmont, NY
Academics:
Leadership studies and geography and enivornmental studies with a minor in women's, gender, and sexuality studies. 
Internship:
AWF Consulting in Washington, DC
Career aspiration:
Political or management consulting, fundraising or development work in the non-profit sector
On Campus activities:
Senator and Committee Chair, Westhampton College Government Association; Student Representative, Board of Trustees; Oldham Scholar; Oliver Hill Scholar; Christian Student Fellowship; Multicultural Student Union

What drew you to this particular organization?

I was drawn to this internship over others because it gave me the opportunity to network with senators and private sector government affairs representatives. Also, after taking an interest test through the Career Development Center, I discovered that I might enjoy, and be good at, a career in fundraising, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to intern in that field.

How did you land the internship?

I applied in through University of Richmond’s DC Initiative program, where  alumni post internship opportunities for UR students. The owner of AWF Consulting is a Richmond alumna who makes a point to take on at least one UR intern each summer.

What projects are you working on currently?


I work for campaign fundraisers who raise money and plan campaign events for five Democratic senators. I’m lucky in that I’ve been allowed to experience many elements of the political process from stuffing and mailing event invitations, to meeting senators when I work at fundraising events. My responsibilities include tracking contributions electronically and doing research about PACs and senators. For example, I’m currently creating a list of which senators certain PACs have made large contributions to ($10,000) over the past three election cycles. 

Are you finding connections between what you’ve studied in Jepson classes and what you’re learning on the job?

I definitely see connections. I work in a small office, so effective verbal and electronic communication, mutual trust, and respect are key to doing a good job. I’ve learned the importance of good followership on the job too. While I and all of the employees take direction from the company’s owners we all must be very independent, results-driven and committed to the mission of the company as well. It’s also been interesting to see the power dynamic between senators and the people who donate to their campaigns at the events I’ve attended.

Is this something that you see yourself doing after graduation? 

I’m really enjoying interning in the fundraising field and can definitely see myself working in either fundraising or consulting in the future. This experience allowed me to explore a career field that I was previously unfamiliar with.

What’s been the most memorable, interesting or surprising part of the internship experience so far?

During my second week on the job I got to attend a really small lunch (eight people) with Senator McCaskill (D-MO), then later that same day my boss asked me to help out with an evening reception where I got to chat with Senator Hagan (D-NC).  Meeting two senators in one day was a very exciting experience!