Past Washington Program Interns

Ben Forster ’11 participated in the Washington Program during the spring of his junior year. During this semester, he interned at the Pentagon in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, International Security Affairs, and the Middle East. The following summer, he received a stipend through the European Union Center of California at Scripps College to work at the U.S. Mission to NATO before returning to CMC for his final year. Most recently, Forster worked as a consultant with LMI for the Pentagon, working with the Department of Defense advisor program. He is now a master’s candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. For Ben, taking part in the Washington Program led directly to future opportunities such as the internship at NATO. Through the contacts he made in D.C., Ben was able to secure a job after graduation.

Andy Barr ’07 used his experience as an intern at The Hill to land his first job in Washington. Since graduation, Andy has worked as a Staff Writer at POLITICO and The Hill and has served as the Communications Director for the Arizona Democratic Party. His most recent position was Communications Director for the Carmona for Arizona campaign. For Andy, the greatest advantage of the Washington Program was the preparation for life after and outside of the CMC bubble. He says, “The D.C. Program gave me a huge advantage when it came time to get a job...It's tough. But if you want to work in Washington, and especially in politics, it's a great place to start.”

Kale Fein ’11 worked at Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates during the spring of his sophomore year and graduated as a Robert Day Scholar. One important lesson Kale learned during his time on the Washington Program was that he did not want to begin his career working in the government. Instead, Kale is working at JMP Securities as an Investment Banking Analyst. By helping fine-tune his interests, the Washington Program aided Kale to find his direction for a career after college. Of the program Kale says, “It is truly a special program and is perfect for those students interested in politics or government or who want significant exposure to a business environment.”

Alan Martinson ’04 was introduced to his future home during the Washington Program. “D.C. is a unique place to live and work. Getting that first bit of experience in the city will help open your eyes to the professional opportunities that are only available here,” he says. Alan interned at the Brookings Institution in the Governance Studies Program. After graduation, Alan earned his J.D. at the University of Michigan and is now working as a Counsel at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In Alan’s view, the Washington Program helped him make the transition from school life to work life and exposed him to the plethora of opportunities to do work connected to government and political issues.

Craig McPherson ’06 interned at the White House in the Office of Political Affairs during his time on the Washington Program. Now an elected member of the Kansas State House of Representatives, Craig credits the Washington Program for helping him grow personally and professionally and gain confidence in his abilities as an employee. For Craig, the program was invaluable for many reasons: it allows students to gain a deeper understanding of how government functions, it fosters “leaders in the making,” and it creates a network of amazing individuals. Today, Craig says that the most important part of the program was the bond he made with his classmates: “although we are now scattered around the country, most of us have remained good friends.”

Kenneth P. Miller (POM) interning in Representative David Dreier’s office was a formative experience for one of CMC’s popular government professors, Ken Miller. After his time in D.C., Miller went to Harvard Law School, worked as a staffer in the California legislature, and co-founded the Sacramento office of Morrison & Foerster, LLP. His interest in politics led him to earn a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. He administered the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship Program and taught at the University of San Francisco before joining the CMC faculty in 2003.

Misty Thomas ’02 is currently an Attorney at The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. As a participant on the Washington Program in the spring of 2001, Misty interned at the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. After graduation, she continued her education and received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. The Washington Program was a “great catalyst for [her] career in public interest law.” During the program, Misty developed long-term career mentors who continue to serve as sources of inspiration. Her internship during the program led directly to another internship and then to a job after graduation. One of the greatest lessons she learned was that “being focused, enthusiastic and professional (even as an entry-level member) pays dividend.” She sees the Washington Program as an invaluable experience: a chance to explore an incredible city and to work on some of the most important issues of the day with the leaders of our nation.