I caught the political bug as a young student in elementary school. Learning about the formation of our country and the history of the founding fathers lit an internal flame for the functioning of our government. Since then, I have been entranced by the inner workings of Washington and the political process.
Yesterday, the highlight for me was getting to meet with Mike McCurry and Greg Schneiders. Mr. McCurry was the press secretary for four years during the Clinton administration and Mr. Schneiders worked in the Carter White House as a communications strategist. Hearing the stories of their professional journeys was fascinating! Knowing that my chance to be in front of two people who had worked in the White House was a rarity I took full advantage by finding out as much information as possible. We debated the future of the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and the future of the American political system as a whole. I hope I didn’t annoy my fellow colleagues on the trip by monopolizing the questioning but I don’t regret it at all. Hearing their opinions on the topics I discuss with fellow politicos at home in Charleston was truly amazing. I now know that I hope to one day end up where they were-working in the White House.
We also visited the D.C. offices of Ketchum, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and the Beer Institute. At Ketchum, we heard from many speakers who offered invaluable tips about the job/internship application process and how to make ourselves better candidates. While visiting Senator Graham’s office, we met with Tate Zeigler, who is the deputy communications director for Sen. Graham. Tate told us how he ended up on the Hill and gave us tips on what we could do to end up working on the Hill if we so desired. Lastly, we ended our day at the Beer Institute where we saw the function of communications and good communication strategies in a trade organization.
Having thought that I wanted to end up in New York City upon graduation for the past year, this visit to our nation’s capitol has flipped that on its head. I now hope to end up in either D.C. or NYC and feel that I’d be happy no matter where I land. But for now, all I can do is continue to nurture the relationships I’m making, continue to grow professionally, and enjoy this snowy ride to the Big Apple!