Getting a Running Start

Getting a Running Start

Well friends, the infamous D.C. summer heat has officially kicked in. It’s brutal out there, but after going to school for two years in bayou country I’ve developed (somewhat) of a resistance to swampy conditions. A little humidity never slowed me down.

 

This week I attended the Running Start First Annual Summit at Georgetown University, an opportunity presented through my office. Running Start is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that has the primary mission of encouraging and empowering young women to run for elected office. As president of the Women in Politics organization on Tulane’s campus, the lack of women in public office is something that I have worked to increase awareness of and combat at the campus level.

 

The summit was full of various speakers and panels, focusing on everything from the importance of calling out sexism in politics to navigating the work-life balance. The summit ended the day with the premiere of the documentary “Raising Ms. President,” highlighting efforts in the national push to bring more women into public office.

 

The summit turned out to be a great place for me to test the skills I have been developing all summer through The Washington Center program.  Turns out networking is a lot less scary, and less awkward, than it sounds and you actually end up having genuine conversations with some really great people you may not have met otherwise. I finished the weekend empowered and motivated, reminded of why I am here in D.C. and what I want out of my career. I am actually attending another summit on women’s leadership this weekend--never can have enough feminist empowerment in my book--so stay tuned for more.

 

Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series

The Right Honourable Mike Moore, former prime minister of New Zealand and current New Zealand ambassador to the United States, gave a talk on the importance of free trade as a part of the Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series at TWC.  My interest (okay, borderline obsession) with domestic politics sometimes gives me tunnel vision and I unfortunately lose sight of the fact our internal decisions have global implications. Ambassador Moore’s discussion of the need for all countries to honor free market policies in order to improve the global economy was certainly thought-provoking. The fact that nations must work together to collectively promote a better world economy is something that is important to constantly consider with domestic policy decisions, especially in our increasingly globalized and interconnected planet.  Not only did Mr. Moore provide insight backed by years of experience, he was actually really funny, a huge plus for someone (myself) not exactly in tune with international trade jargon.

 

Other Adventures

Remember the “carpe diem” I pledged to pursue last week?  Well, let’s just say I’m taking baby steps.  I’ve learned this week that the small gestures really do count, whether it’s striking up a conversation with a stranger on the Circulator or going on an evening run on The National Mall (side note: the Reflecting Pool is just a fancy mosquito breeding ground--avoid at all costs after 8:00 p.m.). Maybe I will not always have the time or energy to be spontaneous every waking minute, but even little ways of stepping outside my comfort zone have helped me get the most out of my remaining few weeks in D.C.

 

Morning Healy Hall on Georgetown University's Campus.

Not a bad place to spend my weekend.

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