Thursday, August 3, 2017

From Katy: What I Hope Summer 2017 WAIP Has Taught You

What Your DC Program Manager Hopes You've Learned this Summer....

What it means to be a public servant 

...and what some careers in public service might look like! 
Service isn't always easy....
...isn't just putting on a suit and tie, but functioning in an office, seeking feedback, contributing in a meaningful way, being accountable and navigating different personalities in the workplace. Most importantly, always representing yourself and your employer well, and with the highest degree of integrity. 

How Far a Buckeye Can Go!
...hopefully you've been inspired by the incredible alumni base in Washington, and know that you too can go as far as the White House. You too can go as far as VP of Policy at a nationally-know nonprofit. You too can be in a significant leadership position at a government agency. You too can be president of your local Ohio State Alumni Association. You too can be a Congressman or Congresswoman. You too can pay it forward one day, when you are in a position to do so.
How To Network
 ...and knowing how to maintain a professional network. 
 The Power of Paying it Forward 
...and realizing that WAIP would not be the program that it is without the generosity of alumni and friends doing just that- paying it forward. 

The importance of going out of your comfort zone

 ...sharing the above to point out that I still go out of my comfort zone (introducing the Dean at the Secretary Mattis event really pushed me!), but I can tell you it's the only way you will learn, grow and charge forward to the new and improved version of yourself! 

 You are part of Senator Glenn's Legacy 

Senator Glenn said: "To me, there is no greater calling, If I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I've accomplished something." 
 You are part of his incredible legacy. You are part of his vision. 

And to Laugh at Yourself and Have Fun is too short not to. 

It's been a fantastic summer- I cannot wait for our close-out BBQ. 


Saturday, July 29, 2017

WAIP ~updated~ Packing List

As I packed for WAIP, I continually downsized by belongings. At orientation, we were slightly scared into thinking we would have 6 inches of space to our names. Come to find, we actually did have a lot more storage space then we thought we would have. This is not to say you should pack your whole wardrobe and 4 different sweatshirts but it does mean you have a little more room than what you may originally believe. When reading this post, keep in mind I participated in WAIP in the summer which made my wardrobe slightly easier to pack than the other two semesters because I did not have to take into consideration the cooler temperatures.

Here's a look into my packing list and what I wish I would have brought:

  • 1 full suit - This was enough for me because I did not work in a business professional environment but used the suit for meeting the Senators and different study tours 
  • 1 - black blazer - 10/10 would recommend 
  • I brought 4 plain colored t-shirts from H&M and wore them both to work and on Saturday afternoons 
    • Unless your office is business professional, it can be easy to bring items that can be worn causally or in a business setting depending on what you pair the item with and how you accessorize.
  • 2 casual shirts 
  • 3 professional shirts 
  • 3 professional tank tops - Thanks Michelle Obama 
  • 3 casual tank tops - These were great for the summer heat! 
  • 2 cardigans - A MUST - I left one at work all the time because the AC is set to the comfort of men in suits 
  • 4 outfits to work out in 
  • 3 skirts - I brought one professional skirt, one I could wear to work and casually, and one jean skirt for only casual wear. This worked perfectly for me. 
  • 4 dresses - 1 professional and 3 that I could wear to work or the farmers market. I loved having dresses in the summer heat!
  • 1 pair of jeans - bring a pair of jeans you can dress up or wear casually
  • 4 pairs of pants for work - For me this was the perfect amount because I brought neutral colors that could be paired with any shirt. DO - pack one pair of fun patterned pants!
  • 3 pairs of shorts - I did go out and buy 2 more pairs of shorts while here, I wish I had packed more 
  • 2 pj outfits 
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • What I wish I'd brought for clothes
    • 2 or 3 outfits I could wear for dressy up, casual nights out exploring D.C. 
    • American themed colors/clothes for July 4th 
    • 2 or 3 more casual shirts 
    • rain jacket / light jacket 

I was able to wear "professional sandals" for my internship, whatever that means. My understanding of this turned into, I could wear sandals as long as they were not flip flops/slide ons or old/falling apart. I was really happy with my shoe packing and would not have brought anymore. 
  • 1 - black heels 
  • 1 - neutral heels 
  • 1 - brown sandals, I wore to work and casual 
  • 1 - black sandals, I wore to work and casual 
  • 2 - heeled sandal 
  • 1 - running shoes 
  • 1 - casual tennis shoe
  • 1- "mom sandal", "chaco sandal" - Whatever you want to call them, I am so glad I brought a pair of these. I would say about half of us did and wore them all the time. They were great for walking to work in! 
  • 3 watches - I wore everyday 
  • 2 statement necklaces - Easy way to dress up a plain shirt 
  • 1 baseball hat 
  • 1 tote bag 
  • 1 small cross body bag 
  • 2 reusable grocery bags 
  • Umbrella - DON'T FORGET THIS 
  • School supplies - remember you are in class here, I bought a folder, notebook, laptop, and pens 
  • Dry stock food 
    • Cheez-its - bought the bulk snack packs for Sam's Club and it was the best thing I ever did
    • Clif Bars - great to through in a bag for a snack 
    • canned food 
    • rice and pasta
    • tea 
    • plastic baggies
  • Lunch box - necessary 
  • My favorite coffee cup 
  • Blender 
  • Ice cream scoop - My roommate brought this and God bless her
  • Can opener - WISH provided one but it was not that great. Again my roommate brought this and so thankful she did. 
  • Fun book to read - Big Little Lies - 10/10 would recommend this read
  • headphones 
  • Journal - bring one of these! Even if you just bullet point your day, you're going to want to remember this experience.
  •  Planner 
  • reusable water bottle - Hi, you need this. 
  • What I wish I'd brought:
    • bowls - not enough provided by WISH 
    • a little wallet - I went out and bought one the first week and it saved my life this summer. 
    • a business card booklet to collect other people's in - This would have just helped me be more organized
    • more pens, I lost all of them everywhere.
    • Key chain, some people had them and others did not


Another Rooftop View

Rooftop Hero ~~ Clare Rigney

During our time in DC, WAIPers and lone WAIPers have seen their fair share of roof tops and terrace views. So I am rating them based on quality of pic, "wow" factor, and other fun facts from the viewing experience. 

4. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Going to DOT, I was ready for a full Aladdin moment - to see a whole New World - from up on that rooftop. The view was shining and shimmering, but definitely not splendid. I really wanted to soar, tumble, and freewheel back to the ground....

Though definitely a very cute and hipster area, the Navy Yards next to the Nats' stadium are still being gentrified, and therefore do not YET make for a very picturesque view. The fact that this view was extremely hot (as in the temperature) definitely degraded from the overall wow factor. Also, the new apartment buildings that may have a nice view of the Potomac definitely detracted from this sight. 

3. Newsium

Though the Newsium itself is wonderful, the ability to effectively capture the Smithsonian in any was truly lacking. And at the end of the day, most of what ya see is Pennsylvania Ave. According to the placards, there were some nice parades on Penn Ave, but day-to-day, just okay.

2. Speaker's Balcony

This view screams "All That Power" (by Gambino). Being able to survey the National Mall and know that the legislation that you are working on will change hundreds of millions of Americans lives. I can see why this view is one of the most coveted in Congress. Paul Ryan is beyond lucky. 

Also, there was no way to take a bad photo out here. You either had to have a horrible model (aka all my selfies) or an iPhone 4 to snap a weird pic of this glorious view. And those booming clouds? Hella yes. Michael Angelo would be jealous of this cloud game.

1. Department of State (DOS)

The best view was by far at the Department of State location in Rosslyn. Though this image only partially captures the awe of the view, being able to see the entirety of DC in one glance was beyond inspiring. Washington Monument, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial and the Capital in one view? I think yes. 

Overall, I'm so lucky to have gotten the chance to tour all of the places that we've seen. We never would have been able to take the pictures that we did, meet the people we met, or learn as much about DC as we could have without WAIP. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Quiet Power

This summer we’ve been so many amazing places and seen so many amazing things. We’ve visited museums and monuments, met Senators and Cabinet officials, and seen our government institutions from the inside. These experiences have made my summer rich and meaningful and I will never forget them. But there is one other, perhaps more understated, experience that I have also relished: seeing the Capitol at night.  

During the day, the Capitol is certainly awe-inspiring. It is bustling with people engaged in the great experiment that is our government. It is the site of hearings and debates, marches and rallies, tours and constituent visits. Decisions of great magnitude are made here. 

After dark, the Capitol’s lights come on and the surrounding areas are usually calm. I have spent many an evening here sitting on a bench and looking at the night sky. Even at the end of the summer, this experience is still surreal and humbling. There is a certain profundity in seeing the Capitol in a more peaceful state, and there is a certain thoughtfulness it provokes under the moon and stars. I have often found resolve and inspiration here. I have reflected on the millions of people whose lives are shaped in this city. I have imagined the moon rising and falling over this building over a century. And sometimes I have just enjoyed the view and night air and thought nothing. When I leave Washington next week, I will miss many things—few more than these simple moments that touched me. 

By: Elizabeth Kleinhenz

 Above: me on the Speaker's Balcony during a Capitol tour. 

 Above: the view I've come to love this summer.

Merriam Webster Lies

Before I moved to Washington D.C., I had an idea of what I thought Public Service was. It was pretty close to Merriam Webster's third definition of public service: governmental employment. A very ignorant definition of public service, I will admit. All of my ignorance and I moved to Washington D.C. and myself and my idea of public service both went through some major and much needed changes.
I intern for a public servant or as Merriam Webster puts it, a government employee. My job revolves around constituent services; I listen to what constituents want from their congressman, I give tours of the Capitol to constituents visiting Washington D.C., and I pay attention to the needs of organizations in our district. Before I moved to Washington D.C., I had no idea what kind of impact these small public service duties could have.
It wasn’t until I experienced it for myself that I knew how important true and real public service is to a community, no matter how small the impact is. When I started in the Congressman’s office, they handed me a huge organizational problem that the office was having and gave me the responsibility of fixing it. It was stressful and hard, but I was determined to fix it.
Each Congressional office receives one “Member Pass” a month to get 6 constituents into the White House. One of my responsibilities at my internship is scheduling and planning trips for constituents who are visiting Washington D.C. When I fixed the organizational problem the office showed their appreciation by giving me the honor of picking 6 special constituents to use our one “Member Pass” for the White House. There was a family from our district who called me asking if there was anyway they could get a White House tour. It was a Father with three daughters. He explained to me that he was a veteran and he was trying to give his daughters a lifetime of experiences while their mom was deployed. When I called them and told them that it would be an honor to me to give them the “Member Pass”, I could hear his daughter's screaming and giggling in the background and he was in tears.
This is what Public Service is to me. This isn’t something that Merriam Webster could put into words. This isn’t simply “government employment”. This isn’t something that could be measured or put into a statistic. This is something that has a real and meaningful impact on someone’s life.
Even though I’m just intern, I was still able to participate in true public service. It was something really small that was anything but small to the family.
The last two spots of the member pass will be used for my mother and grandmother. They will be touring the White House with the father and his three daughters. I worked really hard this summer, with no paycheck, but having the honor of meeting this family and watching them tour the White House with my mother and grandmother (who has never been to Washington D.C.) is absolutely priceless.

What I’ve learned this summer is that you can’t put a price on public service. Even though this internship was challenging, I would go back and do it three times over if I could. I want to dedicate my life to public service because this summer has made me realize it’s so much more than being a government employee and getting a paycheck.  

How to Manage an Online Class During WAIP

12 credit hours during WAIP is NOT the same as 12 credit hours on campus. Interning 9-5 four days a week and study tours on Friday can leave little time for school work, and that’s without the added stress of another class. However it is possible! Here are some helpful tips that I’ve learned (some the hard way) this summer.

1.       Pick a course that you are interested in! If you don’t like the information you are learning, you may struggle to make time in your schedule to do the work. I decided to take POLISCI 1100, which is an introductory course to American politics. This course was interesting to take while in D.C. because I got to have a hands-on experience outside of the online portion.

2.       Pay attention to deadlines. Whether you use google calendar or a hard copy planner, make sure to keep track of when assignments are due. It is extremely easy to get wrapped up in all the excitement this city has to offer and forget about homework. Fellow WAIPers will remind you about classwork for your professor in DC, but it’s up to you to remember about your online course material.

3.       Only take an online course during WAIP it if you absolutely need to. I wanted to graduate in the fall, therefore I needed to take another 3 credit hour class over the summer in order to accomplish my goal.

Even if you have taken an online class before, take this decision seriously because the circumstances are different than in Columbus. Good luck!

-Sharon Glenn

Dumping Out My Purse

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the contents of their purse, so let’s take a look at what I’ve accumulated in mine this summer:
  • My GAO ID. That little card that swipes me in and out of work at the Government Accountability Office each day, taking me up to my desk and bringing me to my job. The best part about my ID is its American flag background reserved specially for their interns (to make us as visible in the office as possible). 
  • Dental floss. I learned quickly that you never, never, ever want to get caught in D.C. with food in your teeth. That whole "you never know who you're going to meet" thing? Not the greatest when you decided to eat a poppyseed bagel sandwich for lunch. Always be prepared!
  • Business cards—from scheduled and impromptu networking events. The most cliche thing about D.C. (that you always have to be prepared to network) came true for me in the best way. I took a weekend trip to New York City to visit some friends, and was seated next to a very chatty woman who struck up a conversation with me. She told me about her job as a law school professor in NYC, and how some of her students were the law students who assisted people at JFK Airport after Trump announced his Muslim travel ban, and I was already fascinated by her. We soon discovered that we had matching rings with the Greek infinity sign on them, and she told me how she was an immigrant from Albania who had come to America seeking a better life--and found it. We talked about our immigrant families and bonded over our love of podcasts. After we'd already hit it off from talking for a few hours, she revealed to me that her son was the little boy who wrote President Obama about the Syrian refugees last year, and I was in awe. If you're not familiar with the story, check it out here. We exchanged business cards at the end of the bus ride, but I felt like I'd gained so much more than a networking exchange. 
  • Ticket to Washington Nationals game from the 4th of July. No better way to spend America's favorite holiday by enjoying America's favorite pastime. It was so much fun to hang out with a couple other WAIPers at the game and to just have some summer fun. 
  • Water bottle. Possibly the most important thing to have in this swamp town during the summer. When I heard D.C. was hot, I had no idea just how hot it really gets. Those crazy humid 98 degree days sap the life out of you if you're not careful. Drinking water kept me from passing out on many occasions. 
  • Program from a Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra performance. As a lifelong jazz fan, for my 21st birthday, I treated myself to a (slightly expensive) ticket to see the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra perform a concert in the National American History Museum. It was such a lovely evening, only topped by the fact that Ella Fitzgerald's jacket and hat were in a glass case just inches away from the performers. 
  • Map of the National Gallery. After a particularly busy week, I went to the National Gallery by myself, because sometimes you just need to rejuvenate by yourself in the peace and quiet of a beautiful museum! The multitude of Smithsonians within quick walking distance of the WAIP houses was such a wonderful thing. I made it into nearly every single one, and would recommend to any future WAIPers (or D.C. visitors!) that they do the same. 
  • Metro card. Last but not least, my Metro card was what got me everywhere this summer. The public transportation system in the District is AMAZING. While it might have caught on fire a handful of times, it's been invaluable to have a (mostly) reliable and affordable way to get just about anywhere in the city. The NYC Subway has got nothing on the D.C. Metro. 

From the Washington Nationals baseball game on the 4th of July!

Taken by yours truly at the Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra performance, in front of a mural dedicated to American jazz

By: Eleni Packis