An Introvert’s Guide to Interning in Washington, D.C.

Posted on Friday, Feb 10, 2017

Have you ever felt nervous to move to a new place, such as transferring to a different school?  Maybe you recall your freshman year when you moved to a new place to begin your college years and felt anxious concerning what to expect. If you’re an introvert like me, these kinds of situations can be difficult to cope with. Moving to Washington, D.C. without your usual friends or family can be an introvert’s nightmare. But there are benefits to throwing yourself in an unfamiliar world. My name is Kyle Richardson, a senior political science major, and I’m here to ease your worries about interning and moving to a big city like D.C.

When driving to Washington, D.C., one of the worries that I had was how I was going to connect with the 30 other interns in the program that I had barely talked to. One of the classic aspects of introverts is having just a few friends that they’ve known for a long time. I was worried that I would miss my old friends to the point of being reluctant to make new friendships with all the other Aggie interns. However, I quickly learned the benefits of putting effort in socializing and learning more about everybody. Having new friends can ease the anxiety of living in a big city, especially if you’re a small-town person like myself. The other interns will be more than happy to accompany you on new adventures such as snowboarding trips to Pennsylvania or touring the monuments. The new friendships will definitely last after the internship, so make as many connections as possible.

Apart from socializing with your fellow Aggies, making conversation and establishing connections with the professional workers in your hosting office can be even more intimidating. Being the small fish in a big pond doesn’t make an introvert feel any more comfortable. Despite my initial concerns, I realized that being initiative and socializing with my co-workers and supervisors made my experience at the Maritime Administration less uncomfortable and more welcoming. The office workers want to know their interns on a personal level, so be prepared to open up. Getting to know everyone in the office will enhance your internship and create professional connections that will help you out in your future career.

This is a call to all introverts worried about taking a big step such as interning in D.C. Your internship is what you make it, so don’t waste a second! Are you brave enough to lose your shell and open up to the much bigger outside world?

As a student at Texas A&M University, I am committed to establishing professional connections with other D.C. Aggies. I made this commitment because my goal is to work in D.C. after I graduate and having connections with Aggies that work here can definitely assist me. I’ve already made a connection with Michael Youngson, an Aggie who works for the DIA, who is taking me on a tour of the Pentagon. It is important for me to make this commitment because Aggie connections are substantial and enduring, which will allow me to accomplish my goal of having a career in Washington, D.C.

Kyle Richardson
Department of Transportation - Maritime Administration
Washington, D.C.