TBT: The not so glamorous life of an Intern
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Before graduating college, I did something like 11 internships. One for every semester I was in school (minus my very first freshman semester) and a few during the summers. Needless to say, I know a little bit about what it’s like to be an intern. I mention all of this because over the past few years, I have seen FAR too many tv shows and movies making the life of an intern out to be something way more glamorous than it actually is. I feel like it’s my duty to set the record straight.
First I would like to start by saying that I was a political science major in college and have worked in politics (including internships) for 9 years now. That being said, I have no intention of talking politics here because, as I’ve mentioned before, this is my blog and my blog is a very happy place where I can do (or not do) what I want. AND, I don’t much want to talk politics here. Just wanted to clear that up :)
Back to being an intern. I’m not trying to generalize here because I know all fields are different. I can only speak from the experience of being a political/ campaign intern. I spent the majority of my time in DC interning in the Senate.
The Bad: as interns we didn’t get to do any of the glamorous stuff you see on TV. None of it really. We didn’t have any involvement in legislation. We never got asked advice on a speech for the Senator. We made lots of coffee and organized the office snacks and supplies. In fact, we had very little interaction with the Senator.
We ran ALL of the errands around Capitol Hill including buying fancy wrapping paper to wrap empty boxes to be put under the fake Christmas tree in the office. We opened and sorted through a TON of mail. In my first internship, we weren’t even allowed to answer the phones. In later internships, my sole job was to answer the phone and transfer people to the appropriate staff member.
While I know that there are some paid internships out there, I didn’t get paid for ANY of my internships while I was in DC. I did get paid for others, but it wasn’t much. And I was only able to get school credit for a total of 2 of my internships (so I was essentially paying to work 30+ hours a week).
The Good: It was all wonderful experiences and I got to see a lot happen in our country and meet a bunch of fun people. By meet, I more mean that I was standing in the same room with them and may have briefly shook their hand. I started typing out a list of said people but then it seemed like I was bragging and that seemed weird.
Of politicians: I saw all of them. I will brag about this: My time in DC was back when Obama was a nobody senator. I saw him basically everyday (by see, I just mean I passed him in the hallways. We weren’t buddies or anything although that would have been cool too). I kick myself to this day for not ever getting a picture with him. I also had an interesting run in with (then Senator) Hilary Clinton who came out on our private balcony and yelled at me to be quiet while she was on the phone. I tell that story with pure pride.
Linking up with All Things Thursday.