CCPA Summer Series: Eleni Smitham ’19 White House Internship, Washington DC

CCPA Summer Series: Eleni Smitham ’19 White House Internship, Washington DC

 Liberal Arts in the Workplace Funding / White House Internship Summer 2016 Eleni Smitham ’19   Everything about this summer was kind of surreal. I remember the first day, walking up to the gate and expecting to be turned away by the Secret Service. But they let me in, and continued to let me in every single day for eleven weeks. Inside those gates I was given more responsibility and exposure to incredible work and people than I could have imagined. It was a privilege to be inside the gates of the White House, and to participate in effecting positive change. I was there as a part of the White House Internship Program, which provides college and graduate students from all over the country with an opportunity to build leadership skills and gain unparalleled professional experience. Interns are introduced to the public sector, and I was surprised and grateful at the amount of responsibility my fellow interns and I were given. I was fortunate to be working in the Presidential Personnel Office, which is the office that oversees the selection process for Presidential appointments. Staff in the Presidential Personnel Office recruit qualified candidates to best represent the interests of the President in departments and agencies across the Administration. My role was to communicate with candidates for political appointments. I worked with interns in my office on occasion, but was first and foremost a member of my team – a reality that I don’t think many interns elsewhere get to experience, and something that made my summer so much more fulfilling.   The White House Internship Program also emphasized building...