1. Washington DC is awesome.
There is so much history and there is a very proud American feel in the environment.
2. Be a tourist but don’t look like one.
When getting off the metro, walk on the left and stand on the right especially during the workweek.
When heading to work dress professionally but wear comfy shoes if you have to walk a bit.
No one cares if you are wearing tennis shoes with your professional work clothes, what matters is getting to the office in time without falling or getting blisters before you actually get into the office. The metro can get you close to where you want to go but for some destinations, if you don’t have a car, you’ll have to walk quite a lot, so put your heels in your bag and then change into them.
3. Georgetown Cupcakes are not the only cupcakes in DC, try Baked and Wired too!
4. The DC Metro is easy to get used to.
Study your metro route before the start of your internship
You know the direction in which the train is going by the destination it has on its lightboard.
example: If you’re heading to the Hill from Crystal City, take the yellow line toward Fort Totten and get off on L’enfant plaza and then take any train on the Largo side. You’ll know what I am talking about later.
5. When working on Hill, there will already be other interns from different schools.
First, be friends with them.
Two, if there are too many interns and you’re not doing much because your supervisor has not assigned you anything, it’s okay. Your supervisor knows that you are in the office, you could ask them every once in while if there is anything that you can do, but if they haven’t assigned you anything it means there do not have anything.
Three, get out of the office, if you are not doing anything and the phones are being taken care of.
Four, even if you realize that your internship is not the career that you want to take, do your job.
Don’t be afraid to tell your supervisor how you feel about the job, but keep in mind that they are the ones that write your letter of recommendation.
5.Brunch is the thing to do in DC, but make reservations or call ahead.
6.White House tours are very hard to get, as soon as you know that you are coming to DC, fill out a White House tour application.
7. The only thing that DC does better than Texas is the weather.
But Texas has better Mexican food than all of the east coast.
8.Giving Capitol Tours are really fun!
The training session is terribly long but taking constituents to the Capitol gets you out of the office, you get to talk about American history, and you get to know and interact with the constituents!
For the whisper spot, it takes a little bit of practice to get it right and it works a lot better if there are not a lot of people in Statuary Hall.
Office of Congressman Vela
Washington, D.C. – Summer 2015