Did you say Intern in DC?! What a brilliant idea?
Greetings, this is my first blog post and I want to give you an “insider” look into interning in DC. Of course, every experience is different, but either way, just enjoy the ride!
Isn’t Washington D.C. just a political town? Well you can say; sure it is, but its home to professional sport teams, fantastic restaurants, amazing bicycle/ nature trails, and shopping beyond your imagination. D.C. has much too offer to every one of all ages, but I’m not going to tell you what sites or events you should attend, but how to market yourself through networking, choosing the right internship and more. As for my first entry, I will focus on my huge struggle; interning in D.C. by staying somewhat outside the District of Columbia aka the beltway.
It’s 6 am and my alarm goes off. This means another day at the office and another day of being that unpaid intern. I get ready quick, eat breakfast, and get to the metro station. I have to be at my internship by 8:30 am. You ask; why do I get up so early? Well my commute one way is 40 minutes metro, plus the added free bus shuttle to the metro so that’s another 10 minutes, plus another 10 minute walk to the office after getting off the metro. Therefore, my commute in the morning is 1 hour. Sure, I could stay in the beltway, but the cost is too high. You might be lucky to find something around $700 to rent, but it might be a basement filled with spider webs and infestation of cockroaches. I rather chose the cheaper rent and longer commute. Luckily, I have my car and during the weeknights or weekends, I can go grocery shopping and anywhere I want after work. Most of you will not be taking your cars, but depend solely on metro. Sure, Metro is accessible to anywhere you would want to go, but trust me a car will help with struggles and it sometimes easier to explore many different areas.
At the end of the day, it should be a reflection of why you came out here to accept this unpaid internship? Well it’s all about networking and marketing my friends. You know those people in school that studied abroad or went to Costa Rica to volunteer in a rural clinic? Well, experiencing this unpaid internship is similar to what your peers experienced. You need to build up your resume, to have hands on job experience, and most importantly; eventually find out if you actually chose the right path.
It’s what you make of this experience, if you just work and go home that is not really putting the full effort; attend events, know your co-workers, have informational interviews with people you admire, and most importantly learn!
Until then my friends…. I need to get back to work.