March 14, 2018
Liam Gonzalez is a junior in the College of Social Science. He is interning in Washington, D.C. this semester.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned at MSU is that opportunity is hidden in two places. The first place is behind a door that takes years of hard work and studying to open. The second place, to put it bluntly, is everywhere you don’t think to look.
For me, my first big opportunity was waiting at a booth at the career fair at the Breslin Center last fall. There, I met a WISH (Washington Intern Student Housing) representative who told me about the business and internship opportunities they offered.
Later that same week, WISH reached out to me, scheduled a phone interview and offered me a business management internship position for the spring semester in Washington, D.C.
My goals for my D.C. internship were to gain business experience and network with students and professionals in my field of study, which is business management. I’ve gained knowledge and experience that isn’t taught in the classroom. I’ve also had opportunities to attend National Press Club events and network with U.S. senators and students from around the globe; opportunities you won’t find anywhere in East Lansing.
WISH has turned out to be the perfect fit for what I want to do when I finish my undergraduate studies: I get to use the skills and knowledge I’ve learned in school and apply it to real world situations. I’m gaining hands-on experience. I’ve written evaluations and proposals. I’ve given presentations, and I’ve done competitive research.
Thanks to WISH, I’ve had countless opportunities to network with government officials and other professionals during my time in D.C. So far, I’ve met Gwen Moore, a Wisconsin congresswoman, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington and directors at George Washington University.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet college students from around the world that intern for major companies and government officials and who have helped me network and make new connections.
Again, my internship with WISH exposed me to career building opportunities beyond working in their offices. They host events on a weekly basis, including socials, networking events, workshops, speakers and so much more.
They also have a new internship placement program called WISE that offers students around the world D.C. internships suited to students’ majors and what they want to do after they graduate. WISE works with schools to offer students the best D.C. internships on Capitol Hill.
I would encourage all students who are looking for D.C. internships to check out this program because it is very student-centric.
As an MSU student, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how well-branded our university is and, because MSU is so well regarded, how much easier it is to find opportunities in D.C. All you need to do is introduce yourself to new people as an MSU student/alumnus, and by staying with WISH, finding new opportunities and making a name for yourself is so much easier.
Not to mention, finding that second hidden opportunity that's just waiting for you to seize in the form of a D.C. internship.