Each semester, the CSU in D.C. Internship connects students with jobs in legislative offices, nonprofit organizations, law firms, and other businesses in Washington, D.C. in a 15-credit, semester-long internship that includes a seminar, a colloquium, and a professional internship. The Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership and the Department of Political Science have collaborated with The Washington Center to create this invaluable undergraduate opportunity.  

Current CSU in D.C. intern, senior Josie Brown, pursued the internship for the life-changing experience of working in the nation’s capital, and to be amidst all the hustle-and bustle of the dynamic city. Brown aimed to make tangible connections as well as gain experience in the workplace. She had the opportunity to meet and intermingle with other interns and make meaningful friends with similar career aspirations.  

The first part of the program is an evening course taught by a professor or a professional in that field. “For example, my U.S Foreign Affairs class is taught by a member of the US Intelligence Agency. The value of having somebody in the field teach the subject adds meaningful insight into current and relevant information,” says Brown. 

Josie Brown (right) photographed with Senator John Hickenlooper (middle).

The second part is the Career Readiness Program, which consists of weekly workshops to help prepare interns for the real world. “We have talked about topics such as cover letters and resume building, and what professionalism looks like in the workplace. I was also able to attend an event a couple of weeks ago with Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper,” she continues.

Brown selected a law-based internship for the third part of the program, the professional internship. “At my internship, I find new and experienced attorneys and place them with law firms. This internship is beneficial because I am in contact with some of the biggest law firms in DC and around the world. Not only that, but I have access to events hosted by law schools that the average person would not have access to,” she says. 

She credits the CSU in D.C Internship for helping her narrow down which career path she wants to take. “Because of this internship, I am able to decide what kind of environment I want to work in,” says Brown. In the future, she hopes to work either as a lawyer or as a policy maker on Capitol Hill. “I have always been passionate about politics, but unclear about which route to take. Whatever I end up doing, I know that I want it to be in a city like D.C.,” she said. 

Brown continued, “The culture in D.C. is unlike any other. I have made and connected with so many people from not only the U.S., but from different countries such as Germany and Mexico. I can truly say that I’ve made lifelong friends here.  This has been a once in a lifetime experience, and I cannot wait to see what comes from it.”  

Scenes inside the U.S. Capitol Building