What You Should Know about Doing an Internship After Graduation

Posted on Friday, Jul 27, 2018

So, you’ve graduated? Congratulations! You made it through four long years of school and followed your dream to intern in the nation’s capital. Whether or not you have concrete plans following your internship, the mindset of a recent graduate can differ from your fellow interns who are returning to school the next semester. Here are three things you should know as a recent graduate in the PPIP program:
 
Your elevator pitch will change:
  • Introducing yourself in college is easy! As Aggies, we are taught to introduce ourselves with a “Howdy” and include our hometown, major, and of course the fact that we are the loudest and proudest member of our class. Entering D.C. as a recent graduate, I had become used to introducing myself as a current student. Just as my identity as an undergraduate student had changed, however, so did my introduction. Luckily, adjusting your personal introduction is simple! Just include the degree with which you graduated with, a short line about your current internship and a quick overview of your career goals.
 
 You may feel out of place, and you should:
  • The transition from student to graduate is fraught with melancholy moments, especially as you begin job-hunting, graduate school, or take your next steps into “adulting” in an unfamiliar environment. It is easy to feel a little left out when your fellow interns discuss their next semester or make plans to spend time together when back on campus. Meanwhile, your intern cohort and roommates might not relate to the struggle of job-hunting or the anxiety that comes with moving forward after your undergraduate degree. Feeling out of place, however, simply means that you must find yourself again. Though you may no longer be a student, your identity as an Aggie will follow you forever. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy this strange period in life; it only happens once!
 
Plans change, and that’s okay
  • You may enter into your internship with plans to go to graduate school or securing your dream job. Surrounded by the amazing scenery of the capitol, it’s easy to get caught up in sentiment and forget that sometimes, plans can change. Even if you must adjust your idea of what the next part of life might look like, keep in mind that you have a bright future ahead. After all, look how far you’ve come!
Bethany Irvine
Texas A&M University System Office of Federal Relations
Washington, D.C. | summer 2018