This summer I had a unique opportunity to work in Washington D.C. as a communications and public policy intern for the Philanthropy Roundtable. The Roundtable is a non-profit membership organization that advises and serves the interests of philanthropists. I worked on their project the Alliance for Charitable Reform that works to protect and preserve charitable giving in the United States as well as educate state and federal legislators on the importance of the charitable deduction.
Working with the ACR and strategic communications team, my responsibilities were to monitor and gather press clippings on issues related to charitable giving including: tax reform, donor-advised funds and updates on key legislation. I assisted with monitoring ACR’s social media analytics and shared content from news outlets. In addition to our social media channels, I assisted with the distribution of ACR’s bi-weekly newsletter that is sent out to Roundtable members and congressional staffers.
If I had to give a piece of advice for future student interns, it would be to take every opportunity to learn. I set the goal for myself when I was much younger to do an out-of-state internship in a major city. After saving for years and working 60-hour weeks in the summer’s prior, I wanted to get the most out of this experience. One of the best things about D.C. is the abundance of free events in the city. Go and attend free think tank events with the American Enterprise Institute or the Brookings Institute. They host events on topics from poverty policy, education reform to economic opportunity. I signed-up for events not knowing anything about the topic, but to just go and listen to the speakers. To my surprise I got to hear from speakers such as former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes and former NYC Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs. Take full advantage of your time in your internship. Ask questions, speak up for clarification on things and speak to everyone.
-- Brenna Parker, Senior Public Relations major and Visual Journalism minor