Lea Carroll, Walsh University
After completing an informational interview with an adviser from the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, I was on my way to my internship when a passerby stopped me for directions. It was at this moment, appearing confident and professional enough walking in D.C. to warrant such an inquiry, that I realized I had adjusted and become immersed in D.C. life. I frequented the metro every day, owned a pair of travel-only shoes distinct from my work ones, visited museums and exhibits beyond the major tourist sites, attended cultural festivals, sat in on academic events, and met interesting people from a range of backgrounds. This brief encounter with a stranger provided me the first realization of my personal, professional, and academic growth during my semester in D.C.
My internship with The Institute of World Politics, work with the organization Good of All, and participation in The Washington Center program helped define my future plans. As an intern at The Institute of World Politics, I worked as a research assistant with the founder of Good of All in promoting human rights through digital means. I gained insight into human rights issues, especially concerning political oppression and censorship. I also worked as a communications intern, which included composing articles and coordinating educational and political events.
These events exposed me to an array of issues from various perspectives. I helped operate an event on geopolitical risk analysis and followed up with an informational interview. My internship hosted a cyber security conference at Booz Allen Hamilton, and I consequently gained knowledge in a field of which I had little understanding. I also helped facilitate an event at the Capitol, which gave me experience on the Hill. My internship also entailed many scholar practitioners, and I audited an “Intelligence and Policy” class by a former defense intelligence analyst.
My internship was part of my participation in The Washington Center program. In addition to my internship, the program included visits to sites such as the Organization of American States and a US-China relations class taught by a former foreign-service officer. The program also entailed civic engagement forums that prompted me to volunteer with the urban agriculture organization Cultivate the City. My transformative experiences in D.C. have prompted me to pursue a Master of Public Administration with the aspiration of a career in public service through government or non-profit organizations.