All Work and All Play

All Work and All Play

We’ve all heard the saying, “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” Well, I took that to heart this week.


Making Connections


On Thursday, I was finally able to do what I think has been the best part of my internship yet: advocacy on Capitol Hill. I was able to attend meetings and see how advocacy is done in the “real world.” In addition to my professional development, I was also able to do a little on the side. I believe in the power of connections and building networks; they are both extremely vital to success, especially in today’s competitive job market. Networking is one way to set yourself apart. While I was at a meeting on the Hill, I was fortunate to meet someone who is in my field of interest. As soon as I heard him talk about his work, I almost yelled, “We have to be friends.” Don’t worry, I didn’t embarrass myself; I held it in. However, at the end of the meeting, I introduced myself. Our conversation eventually ended with us scheduling a lunch together. What I have learned is that while networking may be daunting, everyone here has probably been in your shoes before, and wants to help.


A Detour From Work


Things that I learned quickly while on the Hill: if you’re going into any congressional office, be ready to be searched up and down, inside and out. Also, stay off your phone or any other distractions, and stay alert for sightings of Hill celebrities (AKA senators and representatives). You just might be able to get a picture. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that, but what I was able to do is get a quick tour of the surrounding buildings in the area during a break.

First stop, the Library of Congress. Since time was of the essence, I was only able to explore one exhibit. The exhibit was called Exploring the Early Americas. It featured 3,000 rare maps, documents, and artifacts. It provided insight into indigenous cultures, the encounters between Native Americans and European explorers and settlers, and the pivotal changes caused by the meeting of the American and European worlds. All new stuff to me, so it was pretty interesting. The best part about the LOC is the architecture, just walking in there made me want to read a book.




Next Stop, Supreme Court of the United States. Didn’t get to go in because my break time was almost up, but first, we had to get this:


 

Fast forward to the weekend. Apparently I hadn’t had enough of the Capitol. On Friday, I met some awesome new people, who were friends of a friend visiting from the home state of NC. So naturally, we instantly became friends. We decided to take in the sights on the Hill in the evening and do other touristy things during the day. And let me just say, it was amazing! I highly recommend visiting the Mall at night.




The next day we did some more exploring. We visited the Zoo first, with one purpose, to see the pandas and panda babies, but to all of our disappointment, there were none. So we moved on to Plan B, the gorillas and orangutans, and waited for them to do something exciting. This is all we got:





TWC Programming


For this week's TWC programming, we had the first of several Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series. For each series, they try to have guest speakers with differing viewpoints on a certain topic, and encourage students to engage in a discussion with the speakers. This week’s (SMLS) included James Glassman, founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, Christopher Shays, a Former Representative from Connecticut’s 4th district, and Steve Scully, who was the host and is a Senior Executive Producer for C-SPAN. The theme for the day was "Road to 2016: The Candidates, the Parties, the Issues & the Debates." Just so I don’t bore you too much with the details; the panelists discussed the idea of a third candidate running for president and the possible effects this would have on the campaign. The debate was interesting and engaging. It got everyone, even if those who aren’t interested in politics, to think about the race for the presidency in a unique way.


Even though I visited the Hill and many other monumental buildings in the area, I have yet to visit the White House. I know there have been some TWC interns who have been to the President’s house, and I may be just a little jealous. I’m hoping by the end of the summer I can find my way there too, and cross that off the bucket list. Thanks for stopping by another week!


Until next time,


Obed

 

P.S. Shout out to my friends from the home state. All photo credits go to them!


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