Ohio State student fulfills dream, interns at the White House
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 23:11
After an Ohio State student fulfilled her dream of interning in the nation’s capital, she dreamed up another goal.
The Washington Academic Internship Program, offered through The John Glenn School of Public Affairs, provides OSU students with the opportunity to study and work in Washington D.C. The interns remain fully registered students during their time out of town and earn class credit for their internship. The students also participate in a research seminar and take a course on policy and public service.
Aiesha White, a senior in international studies, felt her resume gave her an edge over other applicants. She was an intern for three years at Procter and Gamble and is a former vice president of the John Glenn Civic Leadership Council, a student organization that encourages civic engagement among college students.
White said she was always attracted to public policy, particularly as it relates to education.
“It is the key to getting the nation and country to a better place,” White said.
White applied for the program last summer because she wanted to experience public policy firsthand on a more broader level than just a local one. While in Washington, D.C., White interned at the U.S. Department of Education in the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, or HSI.
The HSI Program is a nationwide program that provides grants to assist universities to expand and improve educational opportunities for Hispanic students.
After researching colleges and available grants, White presented her findings to the HSI and then added her own feedback.
“It was definitely the highlight of the internship,” White said. “It’s very rare that staff members can go as in-depth as I did, and it’s nice to be able to provide them with that important information to give perspective on how to help schools.”
For White, one of the research discoveries that stood out most was the large number of schools she noticed were trying to be more innovative with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) approach.
“Schools are trying hard to utilize new ideas and learning,” White said. “They are making really strong efforts to improve, and that was really exciting to find out.”
White said the experience she gained last summer has encouraged her to continue working in educational policy, and it’s led her to a new dream — to lead a non-profit group geared toward education reform.
White said she has benefited from the experience and believes other students, regardless of major, would too.
“I would definitely tell anyone to do this (internship),” White said. “It’s a great experience, no matter what you’re studying. You’re in Washington, D.C., one of most influential cities in (the) entire world. It’s a life-changing experience.”
White is currently an intern with the National Economic Council at the White House and will return to OSU next semester.