TFAS Spotlight – Daniel O’Neill ’18

Get to know Business + Government Relations program track alumnus Daniel O’Neill ’18.

Daniel O’Neill ’18

Hometown: West Islip, NY

Internship: Caterpillar Inc.

College: DeSales University

What was the most interesting thing you did at your internship?

My internship at Caterpillar Inc. was more comprehensive than I ever could have dreamed of. The level of responsibility placed on me, day in and day out, made me feel like a full-time employee on Capitol Hill. For me, the most interesting experience was working with various trade associations as they figured out how to effectively communicate the needs of their members to Congress, the Department of Commerce, and even the President himself. It felt surreal to have a front-row seat to our nation’s trade disputes, and my experiences have certainly reshaped my view on the importance of international trade.

What did you like most about living in Washington, DC?

Daniel O’Neill ’18 at the Caterpillar Inc. offices in Washington, DC.

The environment is like no other. Being able to go on a morning run to the Lincoln Memorial and experience that unforgettable view of the Washington Monument and the Capitol building is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.

How did you grow professionally during your time in Washington, DC?

Working in Washington has now given me two summers of high-pressure work environments in which I was given much more responsibility than a normal college intern would ever receive. Even with minimal prior office experience, the DC work environment throws you into the deep end and forces you to sink or swim. I firmly believe that this environment has given me the necessary advantage to distinguish myself from other job applicants upon graduation.

What was your favorite TFAS event?

The Alumni Networking Dinner was my favorite event of the summer. TFAS places significant importance on using its network to find job opportunities in the future, and I had plenty of opportunities to do so. The Alumni Networking Dinner gave me a chance to network with TFAS alumni in a variety of fields from around the country. A few colleagues of mine got job opportunities at the end of the summer from all the networking they did during the program!

What advice do you have for future TFAS students?

Ask questions, build your network, and make friends with your fellow students. You never know which of your friends from your DC summer could be in charge of the next office you want to work at. Don’t be afraid to bet on yourself and make the most of this incredible opportunity!