D.C. Internships Go Beyond Politics and Government

August 3, 2018 The Washington Center


TWC Alumna, Madison Kendrick from Belmont University talks about how interning at the end of her freshman year helped her focus her career aspirations and the activities she has been involved since returning from D.C. 

Where do you go to school and what are you studying?
I am a senior marketing major at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

When did you attend TWC?
Summer of 2016, after my freshman year!

Where did you intern while you were in Washington, D.C.?
Do Good, LLC, a nonprofit promotion company.

What is the most significant difference your TWC experience is making in your life today?
I definitely believe I carry myself differently today thanks to my TWC experience. My internship was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, at a time when I was unsure of myself and searching for what I truly wanted to do. TWC gave me the confidence I felt I was lacking and provided me with the skills and resolve I’ve benefited from since my time in D.C.

How did your internship and time at TWC prepare you to become a young, working professional?
My D.C. internship was my first real work experience. Thankfully, the TWC curriculum helped prepare me for those first days as a young professional. Our Friday LEAD programming allowed me to take a step back, evaluate my strengths and discover how I could apply my abilities going forward.

What made you want to do an internship in D.C. versus another location?
During my freshman year, I took a government class. I thought I wanted to go into political campaign management. Living in D.C. taught me how important it is to be a well-informed individual and I absolutely LOVED my time there. I also realized politics and government was definitely not for me, BUT that in no way impacted my D.C. experience! If anything, it goes to show that you can participate in TWC regardless of your level of interest in politics.

What made you realize that you needed to do an internship while you were in school?
The things I was learning in the classroom did not seem like they would translate directly to the workplace. I wanted to get a taste of the real world, to push myself and see if politics was something I really did want to go into. I am a big believer in internships not only being a way to discover what you like but also finding out the potential careers that you don’t want. I would have wasted so much time after graduation if it weren’t for internships steering me toward what I now know I want as a career.

What was your biggest concern coming into the TWC experience?
My main concern was that, due to my age (I think I was the youngest in the program at only 18), I would struggle to make friends or that everyone else was going to be way smarter than me and have all of this experience I didn’t have. To my surprise, everyone was welcoming and encouraging. As it turned out, we were all scared and nervous. No one really knew each other, but that made it so much easier to meet people. The LEAD programming and evening course really helped encourage that as well. I still talk to and visit with people I met that summer. They are some of my best friends!

What have you been up to since your time at TWC?
I’ve been participating in a Belmont program in New York City for the past eight months. It has allowed me to live in the city with 30 other Belmont students, interning and taking classes online. In the spring, I interned for Viacom (the home of MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, Paramount Pictures, and many more). This summer I am interning for NBC News and MSNBC in their Marketing department. I head back to Nashville in August to complete my senior year and hopefully move straight back to NYC after I graduate.

If you had to pass along some words of wisdom to future students what would you tell them?
Make the most of every single day you have in that beautiful city. There may not be another time when you are living in a great neighborhood alongside the smartest people in the most powerful city on Earth. Talk to everyone, try everything (I discovered my love for mussels in D.C.) and never let a day go by where you aren’t experiencing something new.


About the Author

The Washington Center

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we've helped more than 60,000 individuals from across the U.S. and around the globe expand their academic pursuits into rewarding jobs and careers. We use our scale and expertise to deliver solutions that open career pathways for learners, solve recruitment challenges for employers, while helping create greater access, equity, advancement and representation.

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