It’s that time of year again, summer internship applications and acceptances are well underway.  Have you thought about what your plans to better yourself and your career will be this summer? If you haven’t started thinking about it, I highly suggest that you start planning and focusing on this summer right away.

Internships are highly competitive and do wonders for your resume, as well as initiate personal growth.  Every summer some 30,000 interns travel to Washington, D.C., to involved themselves in politics, extracurriculars, and experiencing the culture that DC has to offer. You could be next.

Below are the top reasons to intern in Washington, DC:

1) It’s An Adventure

If you are anything like me, you love to travel and experiencing new things.  While traveling is fascinating and an incredible experience, I also absolutely love the history and legacy of the United States, which is felt ever-so-strongly in the heart of our nation’s capitol.  Every day brings something new. There is always a free intern lunch somewhere to be found, a networking event to attend, a conference to learn new things at, a monument to see, and people to meet.  Whether it is going to work every morning in the heart of the city or spending a weekend relaxing in Georgetown, the scenery will never disappoint.  

2) Networking Opportunities

The networking opportunities are unparalleled in Washington, DC.  Internships really stress the importance of networking through your time as an undergrad in college, but you will not realize that full effect of your networking progress until months after your completed internship. At least I did not! I went to DC for an internship that I would not have originally picked as my first choice, but I am incredibly grateful for it because, not only did it exceed all my expectations, I now have a vast network of people and organizations all throughout the country that I can reach out to when I graduate with my undergraduate degree.  

3) Personal Growth

There is nothing quite like packing up and moving across the country for a summer internship where you know no one and nothing about the area you are living. Being from Arizona, the East Coast was a big culture shock for me.  I literally knew one person living in DC the day I moved into my dorm at George Washington University, which made for great adventures. You learn how to be alone without being lonely, you learn how to be strong when the rest of your family and friends cannot help you because the are on the other side of the country, you learn how self-sufficient you really are, and you learn to break constantly out of your comfort zone.  Your life perspective changes as you wander around the city and see people that have so much and people that have nothing – that part really makes you grateful for every opportunity you’ve had.  You will be broken down at times and what you believe will be challenged often, but you will come back home a better and strong person because of the whole experience.  

RELATED: 10 Things You Need To Know Before Heading To Your Congressional Internship On The Hill

Of course, there are more than 3 reasons to intern in Washington, DC, but I believe that the reasons I listed are the most propelling.  It really is the opportunity of a lifetime and, no matter what internship you choose, it will hit on all of these 3 points.

Get out of your comfort zone, use your resources, take a leap of faith and intern in Washington, DC. See you on Capitol Hill.

Jacqueline T