Former Communication major, Ashley Hoye, recommends keeping an open mind when preparing for an internship. “Get ready to not get paid and to be thrown into the real word,” she remarked. “Once you understand this, a good internship experience will open many doors in life.” Her major concentration was Public Relations, and she graduated in the fall of 2013 while simultaneously working as an intern in Washington, D.C.
She began as an intern for Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and this experience led her to another internship in D.C. The internship was an, “incredible and rewarding experience,” Hoye says. She beat out applicants from very prestigious schools, including Harvard University and Yale University, and the reward, she notes, was a life changing experience. She worked in the National Mall, surrounded by many of the most powerful and influential leaders in the Capital. Through her internship, Hoye was repeatedly surrounded by U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives as well as other noted government officials.
Her experience as an intern in the office of the Assistant Secretary to Public Affairs helped her land the job of program officer for the Bureau of International Information Programs at the Department of State. Hoye helps run and maintain different social media outlets that the department uses.
For students thinking about an internship, Hoye recommends developing relationships with people to help with the transition from classroom to the real word. “Don’t be afraid to go out and meet people at happy hour or some other event. Find a mentor. I was blessed that I had the best people in my field to mentor me,” she said. “Also, find alumni or close friend if possible. When you leave the University for the first time, a familiar face, or somebody like an alum[us], who has the same background as you. [That] can help ease out the process tremendously,” Hoye adds.