The summer after my freshman year at U of I, I interned in Washington, D. C. at a consulting firm called Kyle House Group and worked on global healthcare policy. I also simultaneously participated in Illinois in Washington and earned 6 hours of academic credit.
Most valuable: Specifically in DC, a lot can be said about knowing people. For me, it was my experiences that became valuable. Internships should be experiences where you grow as an employee and work hard to be the best intern one can be. My internships are what ultimately proved to my employers that I was worthy of being hired. Internships are important for resumes, but also for personal and professional growth. I also found a lot of value in having perseverance even when things are hard or don't quite go the way you planned.
Future Plans: After graduation, I moved to DC to look for a job. I interned in the House of Representatives and the Senate before finding a job at a non-profit called Green America. At Green America, I currently work with brands and companies across the entire agriculture supply chain to work toward sustainability in agriculture.