Below is an interview with student Jason Ford regarding his internship during the Spring 2020 semester.
Where did you intern it, and what did you do there?
I completed my internship this past spring semester with McGuireWoods Consulting. While at McGuireWoods, I served as a General Assembly Session intern in which I attended state government committee meetings. I took notes on discussion and outcomes of bills and drafted reports to provide to our firm’s lobbyists. I also worked on research projects for colleagues around the firm and helped put together packets for clients and their advocacy team.
Where is the internship located, and how did you handle transportation there?
The internship was located in Richmond Virginia. I was unpaid during my tenure at McGuireWoods however was given a stipend specifically to provide for transportation to Richmond.
Was it difficult to balance classes (and any other extracurriculars) with an internship?
I found it only slightly difficult to balance extracurricular activities and my internship. I was only enrolled in 8 credits for my final semester, so I was able to commit a lot of time to my internship. However, because of my role on campus and my involvement in many clubs, I did find it somewhat difficult to attend every event I had hoped to attend.
How did you find the internship? Did you use any on-campus resources, and if so, would you recommend them?
I found the internship through an alumni email chain from a conference I attended the previous summer. From the email, I sent my resume and cover letter to my on-site supervisor. Although I did not use any on-campus resources to find the internship, however I did use the Career Center to prepare for it. I would highly recommend using the Career Center to look for internships, and update any of your professional documents.
What was the application process like? How did you prepare for any interviews you had?
The application process was very simple because McGuireWoods was searching for interns, therefore they expedited the process by having a phone interview. I prepared for the interview by being in a neat and quiet space and taking notes on anything important that was discussed. Also, have prepared questions for your interviewer about the location you are applying to.
What were some key takeaways for you from the internship, and would you recommend a similar experience to other UMW political science and international affairs students?
Some key takeaways I got from my internship is the importance of deadlines. For academic assignments, it is easy to get accommodations for late work. But in a work environment, deadlines are necessary and absolute as they can deal with money, or in my case policy or bills.
I would most definitely recommend this internship to any Poli Sci or IA majors because you gain a comprehensive understanding of how legislation is discussed and altered. You have the ability to see how laws are crafted and shaped before implantation.