By Samantha Horsell
Jan 10, 2013
Tell us about your internship
My internship was at the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), where I assisted the global health and reproductive rights leader, Anushay Hossain. She is a well respected leader on feminist global rights, maintains a blog, and makes regular appearances as a news analyst.
My primary internship responsibilities included campus outreach during the 2012 election, reporting on domestic and foreign policies and news, as well as developing social media content and awareness around our women's rights campaigns. I also contributed regularly to the constant search for women's global news and development for our weekly posts on the feminist news wire initiative. (Click here for a link to a brief that I co-authored.)
A few of my suggestions for new stories were also developed into blogs for our Feminists for Obama, Feminist Majority Foundation, and Campus blogs! I was really excited about seeing my ideas put into action.
What led to your decision to do an internship at FMF?
My background involement as a member of U of M's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) is what caused me to intern for the FMF. Though my degree is heavily structured around environmental health and sustainability, women's rights and issues surrounding gender disparities have always been a strong component of my identity.
Where did you actually do the work?
The office is located in Arlington, VA and the commute was painless. I had my choice of two metro lines with only two stops! I was also traveling in the opposite direction of most other commuters so there were no crowds.
What was the most important lesson that you learned at your internship?
The value of telling co-workers and mentors what you've learned from the experience and thanking them for it. So many people had a direct impact in helping me grow. It's also valuable for supervisors to get feedback so they can improve too!
What was the biggest challenge of your Washington semester?
The biggest challenge was finding time to work at the internship, take classes, attend outside events for work, and experience life in DC. A bit of balancing is needed in order to satisfy your curiosity about DC and complete your obligations for MIW.
What advice do you have for other students considering a Washington semester?
Start early in your brainstorming work for internships! Many deadlines are earlier than you think. Also, consider the quality of the experience; sometimes name recognition doesn't automatically lead to a "good" internship.
In the top photo, Samantha (middle) appears with Amanda Coolidge (project manager for Girls Learn International) and Katie Alexander (another FMF intern). Further down, Samantha and MIW student Alex Hartill at the National Book Festival (Library of Congress). Below, FMF interns Michelle Hutchins, Shawn Austin, Samantha and Katie Alexander celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ms. Magazine.