Intern Diaries

Get an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to intern around Washington and the world with SMPA Intern Diaries. Students give first-person accounts of their intern experiences at the White House, PBS, Justice Department and more.

Interested in submitting an Intern Diary story? Email with your SMPA major, expected graduation year and a brief description of your internship.

Bloomberg BNA meeting room

Intern Diary: Catherine Douglas Moran at Bloomberg BNA

September 09, 2017
A lot of people have asked me what the "BNA" stands for. This summer I discovered it means topical and thorough news coverage written by a collegial team of dedicated journalists.
Ellie Smith

My Road to the 'Running of the Interns'

July 13, 2017
From the National Press Club to the Supreme Court plaza, my road to joining “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace“ as an intern is a journey only an SMPA student could experience.
Lande Watson

Intern Diary: Lande Watson at the Department of Justice

January 03, 2017
Lande Watson, PCM '18, expected to read through an intern manual and maybe help with some research on her first day as a speechwriting intern at the Department of Justice. Instead, she was assigned a speech for Attorney General Loretta Lynch due at the end of the day.
Jessica Pitocco

Intern Diary: Jessica Pitocco at Florence University of the Arts

October 12, 2016
Jessica Pitocco, JMC '18, reflects on her internship at Florence University of the Arts where she wrote and edited content for the university magazine, newsletter, blog and social media channels.
Hanna Cunningham, Intern Diary, SMPA

Intern Diary: Hanna Cunningham with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

August 24, 2016
As I searched for an internship for this past summer, I knew I wanted to work in a museum communications department. GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs is within walking distance of many of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., but I had another museum in mind. I found myself looking to Cooper Hewitt, a Smithsonian museum located along Museum Mile in New York and an institution that stood out to me for its incredible design exhibitions that challenge audiences and raise important questions. Cooper Hewitt’s Peter A. Krueger program offered me the opportunity to work with their communications and marketing department and visit other arts organizations in the city throughout my time in New York.
Thomas Falcigno

Intern Diary: Campaigning for AARP

August 04, 2016

When people hear the company name AARP, they usually think of two things, discounts and old people, when in reality, AARP does so much more.

Ariana Mushnick at Vox

Intern Diary: Ariana Mushnick with

March 31, 2016
“The information and skills I’ve learned in my SMPA classes have been extremely helpful for the work I do at Vox. As a current student in Professor Nikki Usher’s social media class, I’ve been able to directly apply skills and concepts we are learning in the course to my internship.” -Ariana Mushnick, JMC 16, Intern at Vox
Sara Dougherty

Intern Diary: Sara Dougherty with Jamestown Associates

March 18, 2016
During election cycles it is practically impossible to escape the endless campaign advertisements, commercials, and political reporting. Most consider this to be an annoying reality of the modern political atmosphere, but many of us are fascinated by the media coverage of politics and want to learn more about the behind-the-scene workings of media and politics. Jamestown Associates is a private political consulting firm with offices in DC, Philadelphia, Florida, Louisiana, and New Jersey. Most of the Jamestown DC office’s responsibilities include accommodating needs of clients and candidates while in DC and producing campaign video ads.
Samanth Sorbaro

Intern Diary Q &A: Samantha Sorbaro with TellDC

March 09, 2016
Samantha Sorbaro mediated weekly interviews on Capitol Hill with members of Congress developing reports for TellDC subscribers, contacting press secretaries and conducting interviews. Samantha also assisted the camera crew with editing footage and uploading it to the TellDC website and social media.
Julia Bahl

Intern Diary: Julia Bahl with PBS and the Women's Media Center

October 29, 2015
I was asked to be a part of “Worth It Work It,” a website dedicated to encouraging women to pursue a career in the media. The founder of the site, Janessa Jackson, a master’s student studying Media & Public Affairs at George Washington, contacted me to speak on a panel focused on Video/TV production. Given my current role at PBS and Women's Media Center, in conjunction with my past experience at BBC, Paramount Pictures, The American Association of University Women, and Feminist Majority Foundation, she thought I would bring a unique perspective to the panel. Thrilled to accept her offer, I shared the stage with three talented, professional women; I was the only student. Each woman brought her own expertise to the discussion, and I centered my platform around the intersection of women, media, and politics and how working for Women’s Media Center, one of the companies who helped produce the film Miss Representation, became my call to action, my ‘aha moment’.
Martin McSherry

Intern Diary: Martin McSherry with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

September 14, 2015
On day one of my summer clerk internship with the Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I got a tour of the staff's Rayburn office. It was fairly standard and not unlike the office in which I interned for my congressman my freshman year. A receptionist sat behind a desk in the entrance area. Walking through the small complex, I introduced myself to a few other staff members. My tour guide then opened up a nondescript door to what I thought was just another section of the office. I walked through and let out a gasp.
Chris Evans at the White House

Intern Diary: Chris Evans with White House Digital Media

August 20, 2015

From the glossy admissions packets to the exciting first year orientation, SMPA students are continually told that their school is only five blocks from the White House.

Myles Goldman

Myles Goldman, PCM '15, at Sage Communications

April 09, 2015
I have Metro’s Silver Line to thank for my public relations internship at Sage Communications. The Metro’s newest rail line opened in July 2014, making places like McLean and Tysons Corner accessible by public transportation. Prior to the Silver Line, I would not have had a very feasible commute to Sage, which is located across the street from the McLean Metro station. Today, a 20-minute direct train ride from Foggy Bottom puts me practically on Sage’s doorstep.
Laura Shuey-Kostelac

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Intersection of Media and Government

September 29, 2014
I arrived for my first day as an intern in the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice amidst a flurry of activity, phone calls, and media arrivals. In a brief meeting, the office manager told me that my first day would truly be “baptism by fire,” because the Justice Department was preparing for a last-minute press conference to announce a multi-national effort to disrupt a major cybercriminal network. Although it was just my first day, I was able to assist with the assembly and distribution of press packets, escort reporters to the conference room, and attend the press conference after receiving a quick and thorough explanation of the announcement and basic protocol from a press officer.

Intern Diary: Kevin Frey at Cox Media Group

August 28, 2014
During the summer of 2014, I had the incredible chance to intern in the D.C. Bureau for Cox Media Group. Now the first thing you may ask is, “What’s Cox?” Good question. Cox Media Group owns several local TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers in various cities across the country, including Atlanta, Orlando, Seattle, Dayton and Tulsa. In the D.C. Bureau, we covered Congressmen from these various markets.