New internship, new city

Hallie Gardner

Because I will be spending nearly the rest of this spring semester in Washington on an internship program with the State Department, I figured I would change the face of my blog towards stories, commentary, and tips about what I am up to.

I arrived in D.C. last Friday and it’s been quite the ride. This last week feels like it was a blur, mostly because I am so busy all the time (I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing…). I am really enjoying the experience thus far and can’t wait to see what comes of it.


Washington Monument
Photo Credit: Hallie Gardner

Prior to coming to D.C., I wasn’t quite sure what I would be doing. For some reason, I had this picture in my head of myself sprinting to the nearest Starbucks to fetch coffee for my boss (I have probably watched the Devil Wears Prada one too many times…). Upon my arrival and speaking with my supervisor, I realized that this internship was very open. I have the freedom and the option to choose what I want to work on regarding my interests. Last week, I was encouraged to sit down and meet with several different people from the Bureau and take note about what they are working on. Then, loaded with that information I was able to pick and choose my assignments. That’s really exciting for me, as I feel like I have the ability to choose something to work on that I am really passionate about.

Moving away from Colorado seems to be the biggest transition yet. I’m sure if I were still in Fort Collins and starting a new position there, it wouldn’t be this stressful. I had to learn how to ride the Metro (which is surprisingly easy), find the best places to grab a bite to eat, actually dress like a professional (goodbye, sweatpants) and settle in to my new room in my intern housing complex. In a way, I pretty much feel like I am starting college all over again; lots of new faces, awkward icebreaker meet-and-greets, and a completely new schedule.

This city is amazing and I’m falling in love with it all over again, just like the last time I visited. There is so much to do here, seriously. Museums, tours, great restaurants, outdoor activities, memorials… The list goes on. It’s so different than Fort Collins, but also makes me appreciate the “small town” vibe in Ram Country.

It’s going to be a wild ride, but I’m ready for it. Bring it, D.C.

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