Riding the Metro to work, taking in the sights in their free time, exploring the countless museums that tell America’s story, two dozen current Bush School students lived and worked in Washington, DC, this summer, soaking in the knowledge gained through their various internships and leaving their mark on the nation’s capital.
Internships are a core part of the master’s programs at the Bush School. Every summer, students spread out across Texas, the United States, and the world, with many choosing internship opportunities in and around the nation’s capital Kassie Jones, a 2020 Master of Public Service and Administration student, spent her summer as an intern for the Department of Defense. Though Jones was initially unsure about what type of internship she wanted to pursue, she said the resources offered by the Bush School Career Services team helped narrow her options.
“There are so many internships in the federal government,” Jones said. “It can be challenging to find the ones that would truly be a meaningful experience for your career path. However, the Bush School frequently has career and internship workshops where they bring in employers to talk about their jobs and internships. That helped me to narrow my choices.”
Jones had only visited Washington, DC, once when she was 10 years old, so the experiences she gained, both professional and personal, were life-changing.
“The best part of interning with the DOD was that I got treated just like a new employee,” Jones said. “I was assigned projects, briefed my director and coworkers, and ran meetings.”
When a new Deputy Director started in her agency, Jones explained that in addition to attending the welcoming ceremony, she was able to have a one-on-one conversation with her.
“I was able to talk to her about my experience as an intern, and she was amazingly willing to help make my experience incredible. On top of that, I got to meet other students from all over the United States. I left DC this summer not only with a job offer but with friends that I think I’ll have for life.”
Another Bush School student, Sherman Tylawsky, spent his summer as an intern for California Congressman Mike Thompson, a position that allowed him to experience America’s political process from the inside.
“Even at the end of the summer, I still had to kind of pinch myself when I walked through the Cannon House Office Building and into the office,” Tylawsky said.
The Master of International Affairs student has big goals for his career after he graduates next May.
“It goes without saying that if someone wishes to make change, they have to know how the system works in the nation’s capital,” Tylawsky said.
As an intern for the California Congressman, Tylawsky says that while his daily duties may not have seemed noteworthy on their face, the experience and connections gained were priceless.
“I primarily did day-to-day administrative work for the office,” Tylawsky explained, “answering phones, greeting visitors, running errands. Anything the office needed done, but nobody wants to do, I got done. Understanding how Congress works, understanding how Washington, DC, works is at the core of what I’m going to do in the future. Networking is critical to get anywhere in DC, so the opportunity to practice social skills and social interaction is invaluable.”
Both Tylawsky and Jones continue to be awed by the sheer majesty of the nation’s capital city.
“Every weekend, I made a point to go see something new or do something I hadn’t done yet,” Jones said. “My favorite thing was to walk the memorials at sunset. If you sit on the side of the Lincoln Monument, you can see a straight shot of the World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the US Capitol. It’s absolutely stunning.”
“It’s the combination of American history, patriotism, and power that makes this city so special,” Tylawsky added.
From an academic perspective, meaningful internships like Jones’ and Tylawsky’s have been an important part of a student’s education at the Bush School since its start.
“We view internships as significant for many reasons,” Assistant Dean for Diversity and Student Affairs Matt Upton said. “Primarily, they give students an opportunity to put what they learned in their first year into practice. It’s our goal that students go into these internships confident in their ability to ‘hold their own’ because of a solid base of foundational knowledge while also being able to identify areas where they need to grow academically and professionally in their second year.”