June 17, 2011, Arlington, VA- Last week, the Leadership Institute welcomed over 122 DC-area summer interns to the Conservative Intern Workshop. Representing numerous states and organizations, interns enthusiastically engaged in discussions with speakers and networked with each other throughout the intensive, day-long event.
Topics ranged from learning how to navigate DC and making the most of an internship, to constructing an effective resume and building a valuable network.
“Become an unforgettable asset,” said Steve Sutton, vice president of development at LI. “You want to be the ‘go to’ guy. Show initiative and do more than the minimum.”
Sutton encouraged interns to “press the advantage by always doing the job of the person ahead of you. If you want the job, do the job. And, never say no for someone else.”
Students also learned how to translate first impressions into lasting impressions. Brian Bernys, national field director at LI, explained that manners are the hallmark of profession presence and that there is no end to making first impressions.
“You need 60 seconds of information to position who you are, why you’re important, and why people should remember you. Know yourself through self-assessment.”
Andrea McCarthy, director of employment placement services at LI, shared tips on how to get your resume noticed. Student Bennet Opitz, intern of the American Legislative Exchange Council, described the training as “a great learning experience. I learned a lot about constructing a resume and forming it to fit my future career path.”
The workshop concluded with CPAC Director Chris Malagisi of the American Conservative Union instructing interns that networking is not only helpful, it is critical. “Networking today equals opportunities tomorrow; it is an investment in your future.”
Malagisi emphasized that following up on connections is the most important aspect in building an effective network. “In politics, most opportunities result from a single independent human being. The follow up can make or break a network.”
“The networking talk was especially good because it shared how to take advantage of more opportunities while in DC. It really matters who you know,” commented Kevin Schafer, intern of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
This year’s annual workshop was the largest yet. Students enjoyed the energy, relevance, and interactive nature of the speakers. Intern Stephanie Jaczkowski of the National Taxpayer’s Union summed up her experience: “This was nothing like any other workshop I’ve been to. The speakers were respected professionals and captivatingly witty. It exceeded my expectations a hundredfold!”