Ole Miss Washington Interns Thrive
in Washington DC
- Since 2008 UM Washington Internship Experience (WIE) students have achieved great things during their time in Washington, but their efforts are paying off even after they return home. Program participants gain real-world work experiences, develop skills employers demand, and bring their hands-on understanding of DC back to their major programs of study. They also build relationships with Ole Miss alumni and scores of other DC professionals who serve as career coaches, mentors and references and can open doors to help them achieve their individual goals.
- A core component of WIE is the internships, where students generally work around many of DC’s influential ‘movers and shakers.’ Internships are completed for academic credit, and opportunities are open to all majors and available in a broad range of fields including legislative affairs, public policy, print and broadcast journalism, public relations, nonprofit advocacy, finance, business, marketing, law, and arts and museum management. In recent semesters WIE students have completed internships in House and Senate offices of the Mississippi delegation, the White House, law and lobbying firms, federal agencies, network TV news bureaus, international nonprofits, national political party organizations, advocacy groups, associations, and the Smithsonian museums.
- Proven benefits of student internships go beyond gaining valuable work skills and experiences that look good on any resume. Working in a professional atmosphere also enhances student’s academic learning. Brian Barnes is a senior public policy and Spanish major from Atlanta, Ga. According to Barnes, who completed his internship this past summer in the office of Congressman Alan Nunnelee:
- “I gained an appreciation for the complicated nature of a Congressman’s schedule, how he must incorporate his constituents’ needs with national concerns. It was exciting to realize that every decision a Congressman makes affects his district.”
- WIE students also benefit from the courses, guest speakers, workshops, and outings arranged by WIE faculty and staff in DC and Oxford. Recent DC courses include a class focusing on the Washington policy process and another providing an insider’s account of the field of political journalism. The courses were supplemented by briefings and VIP visits to sites all over DC, including Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, NBC News and USA Today.
- Equally valuable is the camaraderie Ole Miss students develop by living in campus-arranged housing and taking classes together in the heart of Capitol Hill. This formula is a proven success. Just ask our former participants, many of who have come back to DC to pursue their careers, or are planning to return to DC for a few years after they graduate. As described by Darling, Ms. senior Ray Mays, a public policy and history major, who recently interned with Human Rights Campaign:
- "The Washington Internship Experience was monumental for my growth as a professional, a student, and a leader. It equipped me with tools, resources, and connections beyond measure. From my weekly lectures to my daily internship workdays, each experience provided by WIE provided nuance to a better understanding about the world and more importantly about myself."
- Listen to graduate student Jinnifer Jackson’s account of her semester in DC. Jackson, a criminal justice major from Senatobia, interned with the American Correctional Association.
- Are you thinking the Washington Internship Experience may be good for your academic and professional growth too? The deadline to apply for the Spring 2013 term is October 12th. To learn more about the WIE program director Laura Antonow at firstname.lastname@example.org.