Madeline Cook is a senior IAML major, from Alpharetta, GA, who transferred to Georgia Tech during summer 2010. She is on staff of the Technique as the Production Manager and enjoys writing. Madeline is instrumental in planning and facilitating Dean Griffin Day as an executive member of the Georgia Tech Ambassadors, and she serves on the executive board of the Student Alumni Association as Commencement Initiatives Chair. Madeline participated in the Argentina/Brazil study abroad program in summer 2011, and is considering graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree in Latin American Affairs, with hopes to find a career in Latin American Affairs, Politics or Hospitality. We asked her a few questions about her internship with the White House in 2011, and how her time at Tech helped her succeed in her internship.
What do/did you enjoy most about your internship and what do/did you find most challenging?
Having an internship in the nation’s capital was the most exciting part about my internship. Washington, D.C. is an incredible city where I had the opportunity to learn about careers in public service, specifically in the Executive Branch. It is remarkable to observe the amount of work that goes into running the United States and being a part of that help for a semester is something I will always cherish and hopefully continue to do throughout my life.
Tell us about an experience that made an impression on you during your internship.
Throughout the internship, the White House Internship Program hosted weekly speakers. One week, Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement, spoke to our intern class. He began and ended his college career as an engineer but pursued a professional career in politics because it was something he enjoyed more.
I identified with this story because at Georgia Tech, we are all connected and trained in technology, math, and science; however what we decide to do with our education can widely differ post-graduation. I admired how Mr. Carson went after what he is passionate about and how he’s able to apply his engineering education in the Office of Public Engagement. As long as we go after what we’re enthusiastic about, our education will support us to attain our goals and dreams.
In what ways did your time at Tech prepare you for the internship?
It’s probably difficult to graduate from Tech without working in a group project. Tech and the Nunn School have prepared and continue to prepare me for the real world with its rigorous curriculum and assignments of group projects. With this experience at Tech, I was able to easily adapt to the office environment by teaming up with interns and co-workers. Through my group projects, I’ve learned how to collaborate with others, communicate effectively and achieve an end goal. Often, group projects were assigned and with my experience at Tech, I was able to help lead these projects and effectively improve the office’s practices.