By Emily Sporn
I might not be your typical SMPA student (if there is such a thing!) As a freshman at GW, I actually began my collegiate career as a pre-med student. As time progressed, however, I realized that I was more interested in learning about the field of science and healthcare, rather than actually being on the front lines in a hospital setting, and switched my major to Journalism and Mass Communication.
Fast forward to my internship this summer at Noblis, Inc., a non-profit science, technology and strategy organization in Falls Church, Virginia, that helps clients solve complex scientific systems, process, and infrastructure problems in ways that benefit the public. At Noblis, I have enjoyed the experience of not only being the sole corporate communications intern at the company, but also being challenged every day to push myself past my own limits.
I was looking specifically for an internship experience in the field of health communications. With Noblis’ five mission areas of health innovations, transportation systems, enterprise services, national security and intelligence, and sustainability, I have gained experience writing not only about health, but other disciplines as well. While at Noblis, I have been able to shoot videos, write press releases, tweet breaking news, and interview employees that range from engineers to registered nurses. In the short time that I have been at Noblis, I have already developed a portfolio of work that is entirely my own. This portfolio will become invaluable when I graduate from SMPA in just two short years and enter the job market.
It can be hard to find a good internship, especially in Washington, DC, where college students flock from around the country for internships every summer. My tip is to start searching early, and don’t settle. It took me five months of internship hunting and countless interviews until I was able to find just where I wanted to be. Be patient, network with everyone you meet, and you too will find what you’re looking for.