At Work in Washington
Denise Barstow '14
Student Intern Blogs from Inside the Beltway
I get antsy when I have to stay in the same place for too long, I’ve known that about myself for a long time. When I was just looking at universities, there was no question in my mind that I would spend at least one semester away from my university.
I grew up in the small town of Hadley, Mass., and I love to travel. I’ve been going to classes for two years at UNH—I’m a recreation management and policy major—and was ready for a break in my routine, but then I started looking at the financials and realized it simply wasn’t in the cards. When I was a first-year student, I heard about a program UNH runs in partnership with The Washington Center in Washington D.C. It stuck in my head because I visited D.C. in high school for a week with some of my classmates and fell in love with the National Mall and Smithsonian Museums—"America's Front Yard."
Each year, about a dozen UNH students participate in the program’s internships at businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and other organizations in our nation’s capital. It sounded perfect, and so I applied.
The Campus Activities Board (CAB), of which I’m a member, puts on large scale, big budget events like May Day Carnival and BINGO. Advertising, budgeting, organizing, and putting on events with CAB has really gotten me interested in event planning and management. Perhaps even as a career. I knew these activities would help me compete for the internship.
The Trust for the National Mall, a small nonprofit dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of the most visited national park in the country, was looking for a marketing and events intern and I was happy to accept the position when it was offered to me.
In mid-July, I received an email from the Washington Center regarding a paid opportunity to keep a blog for the center during my fall semester in D.C. The position requires 15 posts over the 15-week semester. I love to write (and get paid!), so I submitted a mock post to the center. Out of 150 applicants, they selected six, and I’m honored to be one of them.
I live and grew up on a dairy farm; the Washington Center was excited to see how I’d cut it in the big city. It’s fun to write about everything that I am doing here because I am never not doing something. There is always something going on in D.C. and it’s easy to zip from the Library of Congress’ Book Festival at one end of the city, to check out the newest art exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.
As for the country girl cutting it in the city – I’m loving it, but you can usually catch me walking around barefoot in the grass on the Mall after work.
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Written by Denise Barstow ’14