Elon University partnered again in 2012 with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars to place 11 students into a variety of internships with both the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
The convention seminars are the only national academic program of their kind and size. According to the center, since 1984, more than 2,500 students from hundreds of academic institutions have attended the two-week academic convention seminars. At Elon, the program is led by Professor Chalmers Brumbaugh in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.
Here are the stories of select students taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Elon University and The Washington Center:
Gabrielle McCarthy '14
ASSIGNMENT: Fox News (Democratic National Convention)
MAJOR: Political Science and International Studies
HOMETOWN: Moorestown, N.J.
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: North Mecklenburg High
ON TWITTER: @gabjustine
"As soon as I knew that the DNC was only going to be an hour away from Elon, I knew I had to find a way to get there. The Washington Center is giving me the opportunity to make my dreams come true as well as work for a major news network. This opportunity gives me potential to make numerous connections and possibly even a job in the future.
"My dream job is to work on political campaigns and hopefully work as a political analyst for a news network one day. This experience will give me hands on feel for what it is like to work in this industry as well as allow me to network and get my name out there. This internship is absolutely a dream come true and a major step in the direction of reaching my career goals."
Jack Minor Jr. '13
ASSIGNMENT: New York Post (Republican National Convention)
MAJOR: Broadcast Journalism and Political Science
HOMETOWN: Conover, N.C.
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: Newton-Conover High School
ON TWITTER: @jackminorjr
"I am interested in the Washington Center because of the opportunity that it provides to students to network and get valuable work experience, especially as Elon works well with the Washington Center to ensure students success and accessability to the programs. I am most looking forward to being on the floor for the presidential nomination acceptance speech and seeing the ins and outs of how the convention is put together and coordinated.
"This internship will be important to me in discovering an often under-the-radar yet powerful tool in the process which is private and public interest groups. This will be essential to my career path as I aspire to work in political marketing and consulting."
Christian Holm '13
ASSIGNMENT: CNN (Democratic National Convention)
MAJOR: Political Science
HOMETOWN: Charlotte, N.C.
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: Porter Ridge High School
"I look forward to taking part in a historic convention in a historic election year. I'm a native of Charlotte, so seeing Charlotte in the spotlight and seeing North Carolina in the spotlight, being one of the most important swing states in this election, is very exciting.
"This internship is the beginning of my career search as I enter my last year of college. I want to use it and future internships not only to find a job after I graduate, but to find a career that I will enjoy for a long time to come."
Cory Nagel '15
ASSIGNMENT: (Republican National Convention)
MAJOR: Political Science/International Studies
HOMETOWN: Wilmette Illinois
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: Loyola Academy
ON TWITTER: @corynagel64
"My interest in The Washington Center and specifically the seminar at the Republican National Convention came because of a meeting I had with Professor Chalmers Brumbaugh. I told Professor Brumbaugh that I was interested in American politics, specifically the political campaign process, and he immediately recommended that I look into the Washington Center. As I prepare for my experience I am most excited to see all of the work that goes publically unnoticed at the convention.
"This experience will allow me to get a firsthand look at what goes on at the Republican National Convention. I will get so much great political experience at the convention and hopefully meet a lot of people who are influential in the political world."
Tanner Black '14
ASSIGNMENT: Fox News (Democratic National Convention)
MAJORS: Political Science and International Studies
HOMETOWN: Kannapolis, N.C.
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: Northwest Cabarrus High School
"One of the many things I look forward to about my convention experience is having the opportunity to work with the media, being assigned to the Fox News Arena Team. While I do not know the details of my assign, I can not wait for the experience. Another thing I highly look forward to is experiencing the convention in general, as a fellow North Carolinian and living 20 minutes away from Charlotte I am eager see the effect the DNC will have a battleground state such has North Carolina.
"The opportunity I have been given is so unique. Conventions only happen ever four years and to experience a convention in your hometown is an opportunity of a lifetime. Along with this I believe that this opportunity will affect my future career plans by helping me network with other constituents from North Carolina and abroad. This will open up job and internship opportunities in state or federal politics, and also nongovernment and government organizations."
D. Patrick Brown '14
INTERNSHIP: Committee on Arrangements (Republican National Convention)
MAJORS: Economics and Political Science
HOMETOWN: Midlothian, Va.
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: Trinity Episcopal School
ON TWITTER: @PatrickBrownRNC
"I became interested in participating in the seminar at the Republican National Convention because I really wanted to see a convention firsthand. I will be working with the Committee on Arrangements, which organizes and operates the convention, and am really looking forward to the opportunity to hear well-known speakers and learn about the behind-the-scenes work that makes the convention come together.
"Besides the obvious ability to see a convention in what will be one of the most important elections in our lifetimes, I will gain exposure to many different organizations and be able to network in a great environment. Although I hope to pursue a career in business, I have long-term aspirations in politics and being able to make connections as early as possible will be very beneficial. These connections could very well lead to future internships or careers."