If you had asked me at any point in my life, up to this summer, if I would ever be involved in politics I would have laughed so hard I would have probably spit on you on accident. However, when I was accepted to the White House Internship Program I found it near impossible to turn down such a great opportunity for some personal exploration in a foreign environment. Previously I had always blown off political and government positions to partake in internships in the financial sphere. But it wasn’t the long hours, low pay, or unappreciated work that had deterred me from a government job for all those years. Instead, it was my mentality. I was under the impression that everyone who happened to be involved in politics also happed to be the most pretentious and egotistical person in the room (Ironic coming from someone who used to intern at a Wealth & Asset Management Firm, I know). But oh man, was I wrong. Not only did my peers accept me, but they also embraced my unconventional background as an asset for our group’s unique approach at solving problems. We got along swimmingly and were able to create a competitive, yet collaborative, work environment, which encouraged us to preform at our highest level. I learned more from my fellow interns and superiors about the depth of the political climate of our world than I could ever have expected. I wasn’t surprised how much I had to learn or how interesting I found their differing opinions while formulating my own. However, I was astounded, taking a step back now, at my ignorance. Here I was totally disregarding a field to which very intelligent people dedicate their lives to. I can admit that after seeing the people I work with in action, I do have much more admiration and respect for them in their chosen industry.
P.S. Apparently I am not alone when it comes to ignorance concerning our government, “Although a ‘relatively’ high 40% of people were able to name all three of the United States branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — a far lower percentage knew the length of a Senator’s term. Just 25% responded that a Senator’s term stretches for six years. Even less, 20%, knew how many Senators there were.”