Something that I wish I knew (but now have learned) is to really take a look at your company/organization’s work environment. Do the people around you love what they do? I was lucky enough to be working with people who were passionate about the work they were doing, which motivated me to work harder too. I think my internship experience was also made cooler because of the fact that I worked in a WeWork. Being in a cooperative space forces you to interact with more people. This was especially important for me because the government relations firm I worked for was very small– there were three other people in the office other than me. Plus, it helped that my work environment was dog-friendly.
One important thing I learned about myself is that I am a person that needs to do work in a field that I am passionate about. As much as I hate to say it… I wasn’t necessarily involved or always excited by transportation policy. Don’t get me wrong– I learned a lot from my experience here and there were a plethora of moments when I was like wow, this is so cool— but I don’t think it’s something I could do for the rest of my life! I’m going to focus the next two semesters on finding fields that I am actually interested in so I am more sure of what I want to do after I graduate.
Even though I am not necessarily interested in transportation policy, I found myself really intrigued with the whole government relations/lobbying aspect. Initially, I thought that lobbying had a really bad rep. I was pleasantly surprised, though, because I found that a of lobbying has to do with connecting with people. That’s one thing I’m good at!