Summer Spotlight: GW Water Polo

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This post was written by Lauren Shear.

Madeline Goodell, Quentin Montgomery, Pierce Deamer, Kelsey Oliver, and Alexander Swart of GW Water Polo recently talked with to discuss their summer internships and how their experience may prepare them for the future. 


Madeline Goodell, Summer Parliamentary Programme in Edinburgh, Scotland

MG: The Summer Parliamentary Programme is a nine-week study abroad opportunity. For the first four weeks, I'll be in the classroom studying Scottish/UK government, politics, culture, and society all while interning at the Scottish Parliament. For the remaining five weeks, I'll be interning full time with MSP Rhoda Grant and MSP David Stuart, regional members of the labour party. Whereas other MSPs often represent constituencies within a specific region of Scotland, Grant and Stuart represent the entirety of the highlands and islands.

What is a day in the life at your internship?

MG: To be honest, every day is a bit different which is something I love about this internship. This summer, the UK Brexit referendum has taken up most of the member's time, giving me the opportunity to go up to the highlands and campaign for the referendum with my MSP. On most days, I begin by checking emails and reaching out to constituents and organizations that are looking to meet with Rhoda to discuss their questions/concerns. Rhoda is a member of the Committee that represents Rural Economy and Connectivity, so I go to weekly committee meetings and write up briefs to send out to the rest of our team. These briefs are usually about press involving rural economy, agriculture, transport, and climate change issues.

How does this internship prepare you for what you would like to do in the future?

MG: This internship has been an amazing learning opportunity for me. Every day I feel like I am learning something new about Scotland, its people, and how it operates and is run at its very core. As a result it has really opened my eyes and expanded my viewpoints certainly on politics and the American system but also on life in general. I believe working in parliament has allowed me to grow as a person.  Seeing how people all over the country can be so split over an issue like Brexit and in turn how parties here are now trying to deal with this makes me want to be more involved in politics at home.  I am a criminal justice and psychology major so to be able to have such a hands on experience in politics is really a blessing. While this may not directly prepare me for what I want to do seeing as I would ideally like to work in the FBI or CIA, this has been a great networking opportunity and may have some influence in where I do my masters. I would love the opportunity to work in parliament again and study in Scotland after GW. Also, with the referendum and a decision of Brexit, I have been able to work in parliament during one of the most pivotal moments of Scotland's history and I feel that being able to say this and explain that I worked on such an influential issue will allow me to tackle anything that is thrown at me later in the work force.  


Quentin Montgomery, Strauss Media Strategies Intern

QM: Strauss Media Strategies is a public relations and strategies firm that helps clients get their brand out and reach targeted audiences. I've been doing a lot of research on TV and radio stations and doing small pitches for our firm to act as their "middleman" for guests on the show.

What is a day in the life at your internship?

QM: A day can vary. It can range from helping our senior executives cut audio clips from interviews in order to create final reports for clients, to doing research on potential clients and events so that we can market ourselves as their PR representative. I research different stations from a variety of markets and gather contact information in order to create a pitch for our clients.

How does this internship prepare you for what you would like to do in the future?

QM: To be perfectly honest, I've learned that I don't like working in PR ... but it has exposed me to a time sensitive profession that runs on personal relations with others and connections. It has given me exposure to how major companies strategically get their product or message on the market.


Pierce Deamer, Research and Policy Intern at the Center for the Study of the President and Congress

PD: The Center for the Study of the President and Congress is a bipartisan political think tank located close to the White House. I have done research for a variety of subjects, namely Procurement, Latin American Economic Affairs and Cyber-security.

What is a day in the life at your internship?

PD: I have loved working this summer so far. Being able to intern, work as a water polo coach and having the Smith Center so readily available has benefited me. At my internship, I will do a blend of reading articles, reports on government affairs (domestic and foreign), writing reports on events that I have attended (a good number have been hosted by GW) and sometimes just basic intern work. After I get home from work, I head to Virginia where I coach water polo for the 12-and-under age group. 

How does this internship prepare you for what you would like to do in the future?

PD: I'm really enjoying my time at the Center. I feel that I would really enjoy working at a bi-partisan think tank after I graduate. My job blends everything that I have learned while studying at the Elliott School together, while advancing my knowledge of world affairs. My ultimate goal is to return to college to earn my master's degree but I would love to work for a political think tank before that. 


Kelsey Oliver, Ashoka Intern

KO: Ashoka is a network that promotes social entrepreneurship projects worldwide. I perform research for the program "health for all" under the Vitalness Ecosystem approach to transform existing conceptions of global health. I also devise/implement proposals for web design and formatting.

What is a day in the life at your internship?

KO: A day in the life of my internship mostly consists of research and web design. I'm on the "Health for All" Team with Ashoka Vitality, the public health sector of Ashoka. Usually, the other intern and I write draft reports and create graphic designs of health models that our team hopes to incorporate into existing systems or introduce to individuals who are thinking about the future of health. We also edit our mentors' reports and blog posts. Besides writing, reading, and researching about the future of health care, I collect background info on keynote individuals who attend conferences that our mentors attend or organize. Finally, we're also in the middle of designing/formatting our new website, a steady process that always requires more work. The bottom line is: we never get bored.

How does this internship prepare you for what you would like to do in the future?

KO: If you haven't already noticed, I'm extremely passionate about this innovative health model and the man behind it all, my mentor, Al Hammond. Al is the most intelligent person I have ever met. He has background in multiple fields, including engineering, applied mathematics, and social entrepreneurship. He's taught me about investing money, international political schemes of nations like Venezuela and Brazil, pros and cons of working in the government, and the key to being accepted into graduate school. There are people like Al who are truly motivated to create social change, not money. He has showed me ways to reach millions of people at a time, providing them with better health care and preventing them from developing disease in the first place, while also saving astronomical sums of health care costs. If I don't focus on anything else in my life other than this health care model that Al has helped devise, I would be elated. I hope to expand on his ideas for the rest of my life. 


Alexander Swart, AlphaSights Summer Associate

AS: AlphaSights is one of the top "knowledge brokerage" firms in the world. As a summer associate I assume the role of a full time associate by connecting and facilitating the connection between experts and clients who are experiencing some sort of knowledge gap in their field. Through research, engaging with experts, and assessing their qualities, I find the best potential connection or fit for our clients, and ultimately deliver a selection of various experts that can potentially help our clients find the knowledge they need to make more informed decisions. As a member of the "capital markets" segment (others include private equity, consulting, and corporate) I will be working closely with GW polo alum, Adam Wrobel.

What is a day in the life at your internship?

AS: During a typical day, I get to work at about 8am and have a meeting with my team to discuss incoming or ongoing projects that we are working on. Next, once I am assigned a project, I begin research to find the best advisor to connect with our clients based on their expertise request. After, I begin outreach, and connect with advisors and ask them questions based on the client brief. Once I figure out if they are a good fit for the project, I connect them with our clients for their consultation. I leave the office everyday around 6:30 or 7 feeling exhausted, but like I was able to make an impact for our clients and our company.

How does this internship prepare you for what you would like to do in the future?

AS: Through this work experience, I've learned how to juggle many tasks at once and work under pressure. Usually, I'm working on 5-7 projects at a time, and this job really forces me to prioritize tasks based on importance or urgency. Typically our clients want us to deliver that day or sometime later in the week, so it is up to us to find the absolute right person in a short amount of time, to add significant value for them when they connect with our advisor. This position has also taught me how to have informed conversations with senior level advisors and what to do if something goes wrong during the process. 

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