The Snack Cabinet

Posted on Monday, Feb 29, 2016

There are fruit snacks and Chex-mix, German chocolates and peanut butter crackers. Several times every day, everyone from staffers to the council’s president stops by to pick something up and will usually stay for a while to talk to whoever is around. It is during these moments that I feel like I am able to get the most out of my internship.

It is during these moments that I get to know the humans who are working above me and pick their brains. I have talked about everything from how to handle the Israeli- Palestinian conflict to explaining what a Burkina bag is. This time is when I have gotten career advice and it is when I have shown my superiors who I really am. Before coming to D.C., the first piece of advice that comes out of everyone’s mouth is networking. It is the first step to getting a job someday and is the best way to make a name for yourself in a town as bloated with talent as D.C. is. In my limited time here, I’ve realized how true that is. More then that, I have learned that networking doesn’t just take place at “socials” and other offices. It does not need to be hard or uncomfortable. I have learned that in the small, daily moments at the snack cabinet is when you can make the most important connections of your internship. There is no need to leave the office to find meaningful relationships. Often, your bosses will reveal contacts that they have or things that they know that you would have never found out otherwise.  In the business of day-to-day life, we often forget how substantial a conversation can be in our own space. It is important to take advantage of these opportunities and you will never know what might come from them. Sometimes, networking is as simple as talking about the news over left over Christmas candy.
Christy Beauchemin
American Foreign Policy Council
Spring 2016 Washington D.C