Name: Ayesha Islam
What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.
When I was in high school, I flagged Center for American Progress as a public policy think tank I’d be interested in working for as a college student. I didn’t know how I’d figure out the details – where in Washington D.C. would I live? How could I afford housing and food? Who would I live with? Was I even qualified for the position? Could I take care of myself alone? Now as the summer is quickly approaching its end, I still can’t believe that everything somehow worked out. Not only did I get an incredible experience interning with Center for American Progress’ Generation Progress department, but I also survived on my own in a brand new city. I made incredible friends that will last a lifetime, explored the nooks and crannies of Washington D.C., and learned so much about myself. This summer allowed me a glimpse into what life could be like after graduating college and getting a first job in a new city.
I’ve had exciting opportunities both in and out of the job. From hitting up all the good brunch spots, hopping from one Smithsonian to the next, to catching outdoor movies under the moon, sitting by Georgetown waterfront and talking about life, and finding late-night poetry open mics, there is never a shortage of things to do in Washington D.C. Through my work at Center for American Progress, I attended a White House forum, researched a diverse array of issues including climate change, higher education, criminal justice reform, and campus sexual assault, learned from senior policy experts at the top of their fields, connected with intelligent staff members and fellow interns, attended #BlackLivesMatter protests and gun violence prevention rallies, wrote about topics I’m passionate about, and got a chance to hear from brilliant figures like Melissa Harris-Perry and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Now that summer is ending and the fall semester is just a few weeks away, there are bittersweet feelings all around. I will miss the people and places I’m leaving behind, but I’m excited to move forward!