Intern perks

Hallie Gardner

Being an intern in Washington definitely has its perks, especially when you get to sit on a recent conference and listen to John Kerry speak. Since my start with the State Department more than a month ago, I had yet to see Kerry in person and was so eager to do so. Politicians, celebrities– they kind of fall into the same category, right? I was practically fangirling (on the inside) when he appeared on stage.

Photo Credit: Hallie Gardner
Photo Credit: Hallie Gardner

Yes, I’ll admit when I received my first email from the Secretary, I was grinning from ear to ear, but I had to step back and remind myself that several thousand other people were reading the exact same message. Back when President Obama was running for reelection in 2012, I had the opportunity to see him on the CSU campus. It was such an experience and definitely something I was able to check off my bucket list, but hearing the Secretary of State speak the other day just seemed so more real. He was relaxed and addressing his colleagues, rather than a massive crowd. I was sitting in a room with some of the most important people in politics and I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I felt.


Even though I am only an intern and I sit at the lowest rung on the totem pole, it was such an honor to sit in that room and be part of the crowd. There are just so many amazing experiences that an internship can offer and I highly, highly suggest taking one. You gain access to all sorts of events and activities that would not normally be offered. Find what you are interested in, apply, and you never know what/who you might see!

Hallie Gardner can be reached at and on her twitter page @gardner_hallie.