Cal in the Capital: spend your summer in Washington D.C.

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Sally Littlefield/Courtesy

Like every other overachiever at UC Berkeley, it’s already time to start thinking about what you’ll be doing this summer. While the options for internships, classes and research are plentiful here in Berkeley, there’s nothing wrong with needing a change of scenery. For those of you who want to channel your inner Frank Underwood, Cal in the Capital is your chance to spend the summer as an intern in Washington, D.C.

Although D.C. is the perfect spot for all things politics, not all the internship opportunities through the program are strictly political. While interning with members of Congress or at the White House are options, other students have interned with CBS News, Red Cross, the Department of Health and Human Services, nonprofits, think tanks and other advocacy groups.

For example, UC Berkeley junior Makiyah Ruggieri-Vesey worked as a communications and outreach intern for the Code of Support Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to supporting veterans and their families. One of Ruggieri-Vesey’s memorable experiences included a visit to military barracks.

Makiyah Ruggieri-Vesey/Courtesy

I was so excited because the barracks were absolutely beautiful and majestic, and there was an overwhelming feeling of patriotism,” she said. “I had an urge to capture this moment and decided, with my roommate’s insistence, to take a selfie with them.  I approached the nearest group of marines and asked, ‘Can I take a selfie with you?’ It took them a few moments to respond, but then finally someone said, ‘Sure!’ ”  

When you’re not on the clock, the D.C. offers a slew of performances to catch, museums to feign interest in and restaurants to Happy Hour at. Plus, we can’t think of a better place to spend your Fourth of July.

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Kyle Shackleford/Courtesy

“From fireworks on the National Mall, to drinking whiskey with friends who are now in the Marine Corps, to lunch in the Botanical Garden … My Fourth of July couldn’t have been more patriotic,” said UC Berkeley senior Kyle Shackleford, who interned with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.

“I worked on an anti-poverty campaign where we developed and funded community organizing groups throughout the United States specifically focusing on alleviating structural poverty,” he said. “I spent most of my days in the office, but I also had the opportunity to lobby on the Hill, travel to different states and meet one-on-one with various nonprofit firms.”

Another UC Berkeley senior Therese Salazar, Cal in the Capital’s recruitment and marketing director, spent last summer interning for the National Women’s Law Center.

“The most memorable experience was getting to stand outside of the Supreme Court as part of a prochoice rally with prolife protesters on the side when the Hobby Lobby decision came down regarding women’s access to contraceptives through their employee health care plans,” Salazar said.

If one of these opportunities sounds interesting to you, you can apply for the program here.

Applications are due Oct. 17. Within a week of the deadline, you will hear back and know if you’ve been selected for an interview. If you are selected for the Cal in the Capital program, there’s a required DeCal to take spring semester.

Check out their info sessions for more information.

Image source: Featured image

Contact Elise Lagana-Aliotti at [email protected].