My Experience in the Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP)

Mycheala Holley

Washington Academic Internship  Program Fall 2017

  1. The Washington Academic Internship Program(WAIP) is an opportunity offered through the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at OSU which allows students of any major the opportunity to study and intern in Washington D.C. for an entire semester. Throughout my participation in the program I worked as a Judicial and Legal Education intern in the Federal Judicial Center Education Division.  In this program I was able to earn academic credit for my internship, a research seminar that required me to develop a 20-25 page policy paper, and a course on policy-making and public service which I attended once per week. 
  2. I have grown in various ways due to my participation in WAIP. For example, I now better understand the structure and function of the different levels and branches of government and I have a stronger sense of the career that I would like to pursue for my future. My participation in WAIP had been the first time that I had ever been to Washington D.C.. Therefore, I have learned a lot regarding my personal preferences in living spaces and transportation as well as professionally regarding the type of work environment that I work best in and the types of work that I enjoy being apart of.
  3. Since I was 8 years old I have always planned to become a criminal prosecutor. I have always had a passion for helping others and finding justice for those who have been victimized. After participating in WAIP, I have discovered that I have a much stronger interest and passion for helping others in a wide range of areas. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such an incredible program that has inspired me to pursue a career in public service.

The advice that I was able to receive from the numerous OSU alumni who currently live in  D.C. was one of the key factors that influenced me to be open to different career paths and opportunities. Having the opportunity to meet with OSU alumni and to speak with them about their experiences at OSU, as participants in WAIP, as interns in D.C., or how they achieved their current positions in Washington D.C. was extremely eye opening for me. I gained a lot of valuable  information regarding job searching, networking, professional etiquette, government, and various other skills that I would not have been able to obtain in any other internship program. By participating in WAIP I was able to see first-hand how supportive OSU alumni, specifically alumni of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, truly are. The genuine care and support that they all displayed for the academic and professional success of my entire cohort was incredible. I especially appreciate how supportive all of the WAIP program staff and coordinators were.

In addition to staff and alumni support, one of the most significant experiences of my participation in WAIP was the opportunity to meet Senator Sherrod Brown. Having the opportunity to meet Senator Brown and to speak with him was an experience that validated for me the genuine, caring, and dedicated leader that he is. In fact, this experience was one of the key factors that inspired me to pursue a career in public service. It was amazing to me that Senator Brown took time from his undoubtedly demanding schedule to speak to his constituents not because he had to but because he was genuinely interested in our lives and what we had to say. This was truly an amazing experience with an inspirational and admirable leader that I will always be grateful for.

4. The Washington Academic Internship Program was extremely valuable to my academic and professional development because it not only helped me to discover an interest in career fields that I had not previously considered but I also learned a lot regarding public policy and government operations throughout my participation in the program. WAIP has had an impact on my life that I had not and possibly could not have anticipated prior to my participation. In addition to changing my career path, this experience has influenced the classes that I have chosen to registered for, the student organizations that I have inquired about, as well as the internship/job opportunities that I now seek. I have grown immensely personally, professionally and academically due to WAIP and I plan to continue to build onto that growth moving forward.