TFAS Spotlight – Mary Major ’18

Mary Major ’18

Hometown: Englewood, Colorado

Internship: Stateside Associates

College: University of Denver

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

While I was interning at Stateside Associates, I was tasked with researching and tracking the results of primary elections for several states. This required close attention to detail and the use of a massive spreadsheet that had to be updated on a regular basis. This was super fun and interesting task for me because I was able to look into how several different state governments function and see the importance and impact of primary elections, which is something I was unaware of before my internship. Plus, I love using programs like Excel to harness data and this gave me the opportunity to get more familiar with handling data.

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

Washington, DC is such a vibrant city filled with endless opportunities to grow and learn. My favorite part about living in the heart of the nation was attending events and meeting people who are passionate about making our country better. I also loved living near the National Mall and visiting museums and learning more about my country’s history.

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

Being in Washington, DC for the summer helped me develop important professional skills and expand my network within the business world. I was able to meet senior-level executives, receptionists, lawyers, lobbyists, students, interns, and so many others who are working toward their own professional goals. Meeting and talking with all these people helped me create and better develop some of my own personal and professional goals. Furthermore, being around so many motivated people encouraged me to focus on my future and think seriously about how I can contribute to society.

What was the most challenging aspect of the program?

The most challenging thing about interning in Washington, DC was trying to stand out in a city full of interns. While it is great to meet so many successful professionals and interns, it is also pretty intimidating. The competitive environment in Washington, DC pushed me to work harder than I ever have before to prove my worth and showcase my skills. This was challenging at first but ultimately helped me become a better student, employee, and person.

What was your favorite TFAS event?

My favorite event was the TFAS Alumni Networking Dinner. It was inspirational to hear from TFAS alumni and Washington, DC professionals and hear stories about how they got to where they are. I was able to meet people who have been in my position and have since been able to succeed in their professional lives.

What advice do you have for future TFAS students?

Take advantage of all the opportunities laid out in front of you! There are so many people out there who are willing to help you get to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to send an email asking for help or asking your internship supervisor out to coffee to talk about opportunities for growth. If you can communicate your fears, strengths, and goals at this point in your life, there will always be someone willing to listen and offer help. The TFAS network is filled with people who want to help you!