How She Got That Internship is a series that highlights conservative women’s internships in various organizations and positions to inspire the next generation of conservative women to lead. Did you, or a young woman that you know, have an internship experience you want to share with our readers? Submit it in this form and we will contact you if we think it would be a great fit for the series. 

Summer is perhaps the best time for young leaders to invest in themselves by gaining valuable work experience, namely through internships. As summer comes to a close and fall looms ahead, FFL is sitting down with a number interns to reflect on this year’s highlights and encourage more young leaders to apply for next year’s internships!

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
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Isabel Brown is a senior in the Honors Program at Colorado State University. She is an active leader in the conservative movement, currently working as a Campus Coordinator for Turning Point USA, serving as a Cabinet Member for Future Female Leaders, is an ambassador for Prager University. Isabel has interned for the United States Senate and the White House, and dreams of attending law school and eventually working in international healthcare policy.

How did you find out about the position, and why did you decide to apply?

I first discovered that the White House offered internship positions in the fall of 2017, after asking a friend native to the Washington, D.C. area about internship opportunities for young conservatives. I had previously gained some experience interning for the federal government in the United States Senate, and decided to apply despite my non-political background in Biomedical Sciences and little previous experience interning. A week before Christmas, I submitted my application for the White House Internship Program, and was notified that I’d been selected to serve as an Intern for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs during the last week of March, 2018.

What was the driving force behind choosing to work at as a White House Intern?

When I submitted my application to intern at the White House, I never anticipated to be offered a position. Being selected as a summer intern was nothing short of a blessing, and I was ecstatic to join some of the most accomplished young adults in our nation in the program. My hope upon accepting the position was to contribute in my own small way to the extraordinary efforts made by the Trump administration to serve the American people, develop leadership skills, and further my deep love of public service.

Have you interned before? If so, where?

Prior to interning at the White House, I had completed an internship with the United States Senate for the office of Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). During the summer of 2017, I worked in one of the many state offices for the Senator and was tasked with constituent outreach projects, researching legislation and state issues, and staffing the Senator during his visits to northern Colorado. It was while interning for the Senator that I gained a deep appreciation for public service and grassroots politics–I frequently spoke with the same constituents on the phone and developed a clear understanding of the role of our federal government as it exists to serve the American people.

Describe a typical day at your internship.

The reality of interning at the White House is that there truly were no “typical days!” I interned for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which works with local and state elected officials across the country to offer service and resources from the federal level back to local and state levels. Most often, my personal responsibilities included organizing and executing events and conferences for state and local elected officials visiting the White House, communicating outgoing messaging to state and local officials on a variety of policy issues, collecting and organizing official requests from state and local governments, assembling and researching various state and local policies and regularly presented findings in memoranda circulated to supervisors, and sorting incoming correspondence.

Often, additional programming was offered to White House interns including a speaker series featuring various members of the administration, tours of the West Wing, and bowling in the Truman Bowling alley.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of interning for the White House?

Without a doubt, the most rewarding aspect of interning at the White House is the people who I was fortunate enough to work alongside–from interns to full time staff. The other interns selected to serve in the program are individuals who will tangibly change our nation. They are student body presidents, scientists, artists, and most importantly, leaders.

Because of the nature of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, I also often had the opportunity to interact with senior staff and cabinet secretaries from across the administration. The individuals serving our nation in this capacity deeply care about the welfare of all Americans. I continue to be deeply inspired by them today.

What was the biggest WOW moment of your internship?

The biggest WOW moment of my internship was volunteering on the White House South Lawn for the annual Fourth of July celebration. To witness the fireworks over the Washington Monument and hear from renowned musical talent while watching the President and First Lady enjoy the show from the Truman Balcony was something I will never forget. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to celebrate this patriotic day in history in such an iconic location!

Looking back over your time in the internship, what’s been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a result of your time interning for the White House?

The most valuable lesson I learned as a White House Intern is that regardless of where you begin, with hard work and passion, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of others. At 21 years old as a junior in college at a public state school, interning in the White House for the Executive Office of the President was the last thing I expected to do. I decided to make the most of this life-altering experience through showing up early and staying late at work, taking on extra projects beyond my daily tasks, and volunteering for extra events. People will always notice when you are willing to work hard, and your opportunities will only grow from there.

Would you apply to intern at the White House again, and what advice would you give to future applicants?

I would absolutely apply to intern at the White House again! The best advice I can provide is simply to be yourself throughout the application process. There is no “one-size-fits-all” White House Intern–everyone in the Summer intern class of 2018 had unique strengths to bring to the program, and so do you!

Many people are also unaware that the White House Internship Program offers internships during the fall and spring semesters beyond the summer term. If you have the opportunity to do a semester in Washington or you are local to the DC area, consider applying during one of these sessions!

Read more from the How She Got That Internship series here.

How She Got That Internship is a series that highlights conservative women’s internships in various organizations and positions to inspire the next generation of conservative women to lead. Did you, or a young woman that you know, have an internship experience you want to share with our readers? Submit it in this form and we will contact you if we think it would be a great fit for the series. 

Isabel B
CONTRIBUTOR
Isabel is a Contributor from the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado and is a proud CSU Ram. She dreams of one day being a surgeon-turned-US President, and you can often spot her around campus wearing FFL gear and scrubs. She loves all things pro-life, second amendment, and small government, and is also involved in Turning Point USA and PragerFORCE