Working in Washington DC: The Ultimate Summer Getaway

By McKenzie Roese, Career Services Ambassador

While summertime is usually my time to kick back, relax, and enjoy a little sunshine by the beach, I decided to resist my normal summer routine: instead, I was going to enter the workforce. This past summer, I ventured away from my Minnesota home to explore our nation’s capital – Washington DC. Being a political science major, I wanted to be thrown into the heart of American politics during such an exciting time in US history: the presidential election season. To get the most out of my DC experience, I applied for the Davidson in Washington program where I took a US foreign policy seminar with a Davidson professor, Dr. Ortmayer, and worked full-time at an organization of my choosing.

Considering marketing and public policy have always been interests of mine, I decided to
work at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) as their only undergraduate marketing and communications intern. CLINIC, a member-based non-profit organization, aims to help provide support to its nationwide affiliates in order to help provide the best legal assistance for low-income immigrants. Because immigration policy is such a diverse field, I worked with a wide-array of people during my time at CLINIC: law students, attorneys, marketing managers, and even accountants. In terms of my work, I performed social media research for immigration-related articles, trends, and legislation. I also created a marketing plan for CLINIC’s upcoming events by designing email-marketing strategies to increase sponsorship.

Working at CLINIC by day and discussing US foreign policy at night, I have to say the Davidson in Washington experience couldn’t have been more rewarding. Not only did I learn about marketing strategy for a nationwide non-profit, but I also lived three blocks away from the White House. Looking back on it, I have to admit having Obama as my neighbor definitely beats sitting by the beach all day long.

Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship: Fighting Hunger and Poverty

The Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program helps participants gain practical experience fighting hunger and poverty through placements in community-based organizations across the country, as well as policy experience through placements in Washington, DC.

Each year, 20 participants are chosen from across the country, meet in Washington, DC in August for orientation, national programs designed to address hunger and poverty, and various approaches to social change. Fellows are then placed for five months with community-based organizations involved in fighting hunger and poverty at the local level.

In mid-February the Fellows regroup in Washington, DC to share their experiences and go through an intensive policy training to learn about national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy work.  They then work in nonprofit organizations and government agencies at the national level and meet regularly for professional development trainings. For more information: .


  • $16,00 living allowance
  • Health insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • Housing during field placement
  • $3,500 end of service award
  • $4,000 housing subsidy in D.C.
  • Relocation subsidies
  • Connection to community of Hunger Fellows and network of alumni, partners, and experts
  • Experience with community and policy leaders
  • Training/mentoring/leadership development
  • Experience in project management

Application details:

  • Deadline to apply for the 2012-2013 program is January 17, 2012.
  • Online applications accepted only:
  • Semifinalist selection complete by mid-February 2012
  • Interviews scheduled in Washington, DC in March 2012
  • Final selection decision made in April 2012

Apply for State Department Internships by November 1st

Applications for the U.S. Department of State’s Summer 2012 Student Internship Program are now being accepted.

Click here ( to read more about the Student Internship Program, and to start the Gateway to State online application process. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is November 01, 2011.

To be eligible for this program, you must be:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a full- or part-time continuing college or university junior, or graduate student (including graduating seniors intending to go on to graduate school).
  • Have good academic standing
  • Successfully complete a background investigation
  • Be able to receive either a Secret or Top Secret clearance.

Please read the entire vacancy announcement carefully for all qualifications and requirements.

You can also visit our Student Programs forum ( to post questions or read discussions about this program.

PLEASE NOTE:  Remember that the website will be down and transitioning from Oct. 6-12, and may have periodic shutdowns after Oct. 12th, as well. For this reason, we encourage all interested students to apply as soon as possible. Website Down October 6-12, 2011 will transition to a new system October 6-12, 2011. During this time, the ability to conduct job searches, apply for jobs or receive application status updates will not be possible. Employers will not be able to post any new jobs. Even after the transition is complete, there may be sporadic, unannounced shutdowns.  Check here for updates on the website.

For those applying for U.S. Department of State opportunities, you are encouraged to complete your application prior to October 6, if possible, to reduce the possibility of system problems preventing an on-time submission.

At this point, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not anticipate a need for extending any application deadlines. However, Career Services will monitor the situation and keep you informed of any changes.

For those applying for State Department Internships:
The application deadline is November 1st.  However, it is recommended that you apply immediately to avoid any glitches that may arise due to the website transition.

Internships with the Democratic National Convention

Fall internships with the DNC have been posted!  The deadline for applications is September 12, 2011.

The DNC is seeking self-motivated, results-driven and trainable students for this opportunity. A DNCC intern will have a wide range of responsibilities, such as acting as the first point of contact for a Department head in the offices of the CEO, COO, or Chief of Staff. Interns may assist with special projects in various departments such as Intergovernmental Affairs or Communication and Public Affairs.  They may prepare correspondence, assist staff with requests pertaining to the convention, assist with IT network systems, or help prepare memos as well as research important legal topics.

This internship is a minimum of twenty hours per week (flexible scheduling), beginning September 26 and ending December 16, 2011.

To apply, students must submit a resume, an application (includes essay questions), and three letters of recommendation.  Interviews will be conducted in two rounds.  The position description can be found in WildcatLink.  For the full position description and application, contact Brenda Harvey, our Recruiting Coordinator, at