By: Erin Gamba ’18, Program Advisor – Operations
When I first learned about TFAS and its summer internship program in D.C., I was unaware of the drastic impact the program would have on my life and career goals. It was 2018, and I was attending the National Service-Learning Conference with the National Youth Leadership Council as a Youth Advisory Council member when I first met a TFAS representative. I remember hearing about the internship and professional development opportunities and was sold. Now, 3 years later I am excited to be coming back to D.C. to be a resource for students, like me not so long ago.
In 2018, I was afforded the opportunity to participate in the Public Policy + Economics Program Track. I interned with America’s Service Commissions, and my experience was everything I wanted in a summer internship. America’s Service Commissions represents the 52 state service commissions in the United States and works to solidify funding for service and volunteerism nationwide. Part of their funding goes to AmeriCorps members, SeniorCorps members, and many more. Because of my internship, I was able to be on Capitol Hill attending committee mark-ups as Congress finalized the 2019 Fiscal Year budget. Through my internship, I gained insight into my professional career goals, made lasting connections, and learned a lot about myself.
Alongside my internship, I was exposed to a vast alumni network and received guidance from my TFAS mentor. As a new graduate, I am thankful that I participated in the summer program as the alumni network provides great access to professional career positions I may be interested in in the future. I took a class on economic problems and public policy issues at George Mason University. This course taught me a lot about the intersection of public policy and economics and it is what encouraged me to pursue a second major in economics. In addition to coursework, TFAS expanded my view of D.C. through different site visits, lecture series, and organized field trips across the city. Through these events, I was able to visit the Federal Reserve, the Embassy of Greece, and the House of Representatives.
The opportunities TFAS has offered are endless and the friends I have made are going to last a lifetime. I was able to make Washington my home for eight weeks and explore the endless variety of things to do in the city. From the Smithsonian museums, monuments, and National’s baseball games, D.C. has something for everyone. While this summer program may look different than years past, TFAS is one of the best things you can do with your time, so make sure you take advantage of every opportunity!
Follow my adventures in Washington, D.C. this summer on Instagram @DCInternships.
Program Advisors, informally known as PAs, are recent TFAS alumni who live in student housing and help current students navigate the program and Washington, D.C. during the summer.