It’s been an incredible (albeit hot and humid) first week here in DC! We kicked off WLP with a weekend orientation where we heard from a host of incredible speakers and got to know each other as a cohort. The nine of us are pretty diverse in terms of our backgrounds, perspectives and what issues interest us. Ranging from social determinants of health to identity politics, we were able to engage in passionate debates and learn more about different issue areas while developing our communication skills.
WLP 2018 Scholars meeting with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
Our orientation centered primarily around how to take full advantage of our time here in DC. We learned from Sam Arora about how to be most productive when we have many demands on our time from networking events, WLP programming, and our internship, as well as how to develop long lasting and professional relationships. We also had a Hill and Agency staffer panel where we learned about the Do’s and Don'ts for interns and how to best serve and benefit in our positions. In addition, the nine of us met with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and discussed the FCC's role in public health, positive and negative attributes of social media, and net neutrality. The honest conversation was impactful and allowed us to have a candid discussion regarding political and nonpolitical issues.
One of my personal favorite sessions was regarding goal setting in the most conducive way to achieve what we want from the summer. This was important for me personally as my goals for the summer are mainly about developing myself as a person and learning from my environment and the people around me. Rina and Shikha, both recent WLP alums, were able to help me narrow down my goals for the summer to be attainable and measurable which really helped me visualize the next 8 weeks! We also had a pizza party with a lot of WLP alums in the evening which I think opened up all of our eyes to how tight-knit the WLP community is and the variety of paths that they have chosen. It seems like no matter what our interests or future plans are, there's an alum with a similar trajectory who is happy to chat with us about it.
Week 1 in my internship was just as fast paced as orientation! I’m interning this summer with Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07) and I’m so excited to get a behind the scenes insight into how a Congressional office is run. My job entails administrative front desk duties, preparing background information and talking points, and my favorite-- leading constituent tours. In just the last week I’ve honed in on my communication skills immensely by interacting with politically diverse constituents through the phone, letters, email, and in person- a skill that I think is transferable in whichever industry I choose to pursue later on in life. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be in a brand new city, doing work I’ve never done before, and meeting such talented and passionate people-- and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer will bring!
Congressman Ami Bera's Office