Political science internship brings TCU students to nation’s capital

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The political science department’s Washington D.C. internship continues to be a success in bringing Horned Frogs into the world of the United States government.

Some political science majors dream of a career in politics and government, but Dr. Adam Schiffer, the director of the department’s Washington Internship Program, said many don’t know if the demanding capital lifestyle is right for them until they’ve spent a semester in D.C.

“There’s only one way to find out,” Schiffer said. “That’s by actually being immersed by it, so that’s what we do for them.”

The fall internship program, which works with the Washington Center, pairs students with members of Congress, lobbyists, advocacy groups and media outlets.

Students can also work with government agencies such as the Departments of State, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Every fall, there is a demand from the Washington Center for 10-15 interns from TCU. These chosen students will take one class in the spring semester before their internship in order to prepare them for life in Washington D.C.

The next class heading to Washington D.C. has already begun training with Schiffer. When fall arrives, the interns will travel to Washington D.C. ready to begin their work.

This real-world experience will give the interns the networking skills to land a future career in Washington D.C. after graduation. Many students have returned to work where they interned upon graduating, Schiffer said.

“It gives you a great leg up in the job market,” Schiffer said. “Employers are increasingly insisting that students have some sort of real world experience before they hire them.”

Abigale Tardif, a junior political science major who interned in the fall semester, said the time in D.C. has given her a better feel on whether or not Washington is her ultimate goal.

“It helps you get a grasp on if this is something you want to do in life,” Tardif said.

Tardif was able to work alongside interns from all over the world, including India, Brazil, Russia and China. She said she believes this internship has given her an edge toward a future career as a lobbyist.

“You need life experience, and this was something that gave me more life experience,” Tardif said.