An Ohio State student was granted a rare opportunity this past summer: the chance to fulfill her dream of interning in the nation’s capitol.
The White House Internship program offered through The John Glenn School of Public Affairs provides Ohio State students with the opportunity to study and work in the nation’s capital. The interns remain fully registered Ohio State students and earn credit for their internship. In addition to the internship, the students participate in a research seminar and take a course on policy and public service.
Aiesha White, a senior in international studies with an economics minor, felt that her experience as an intern for three years at Procter and Gamble and as vice president of John Glenn Civic Leadership Council, gave her the upper hand amongst the other applicants.
White was always attracted to public policy, particularly in relation to education.
“Education is one of the most important pieces of and individuals,” said White. “And it is the key to getting the nation and country to a better place.”
White decided to apply for the John Glenn Washington Academic Internship Program this past summer because she wanted to get the experience first-hand from a broad perspective, rather than from a local one. While in Washington DC, White interned at the US Department of Education in the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution program.
The HIS Program is a nationwide program that provides grants to assist HSIs to expand and improve educational opportunities for Hispanic students.
After months of researching colleges and grants, White presented her findings to the HIS and then had the opportunity to add in her own feedback.
“It was definitely the highlight of the internship,” said White. “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 biggest findings that stood out amongst all of her research was the large number of schools trying to be more innovative with the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical (STEM) approach.
“Schools are trying hard to utilize new ideas and learning,” said Whyte. “They are making really strong efforts to improve, and that was really exciting to find out.”
The experience White gained through the internship has instilled in her a drive to pursue this educational policy. She dreams of leading a non-profit group geared toward education reform, and knows that she can utilize her experiences in DC to achieve her goal.
“I would definitely tell anyone to do this (internship),” said White. “It’s a great experience, no matter what you’re studying. You’re in Washington DC: one of most influential cities in 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 back to OSU for her final spring semester.