Mark Montegriffo, a Global Competencies student from Fall 2018, shares how his love for American Politics drew him across the Atlantic to D.C.
Where did you go to school and what did you major in?
I studied at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. I graduated in the summer of 2018 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and politics.
When were you at TWC and where did you intern?
I was a communications intern at Law Media Group, a public affairs firm. I interned in the fall of 2018.
What made you want to do an internship as part of your college experience?
This internship took place right after I graduated from college. I had done a number of internships before this, but largely in the field of law. My political experience had mostly been local in my hometown of Gibraltar or in Manchester, England. I wanted to be in D.C. to grow my political and journalism portfolio beyond that.
Why did you choose TWC over other internship or study abroad options?
It’s all about D.C. I’ve followed American politics closely for years. The nation’s history, distant and recent, tells a beautiful and harrowing narrative of blood, hope, and eternal conflict. I wanted to experience this chapter, because it feels like something's got to give. It feels like America’s on the cusp of transformative change, and I wanted to catch a glimpse of it whichever way it swings.
What was the most memorable experience you had during your time in D.C.?
It was cool to be on set at the BBC World Service and meet some high-profile writers. It’s mostly memorable because it was a spontaneous visit that happened when my boss was called in for a TV interview. For all the great professional and political experiences though, the most memorable ones will be with the friends I have made in D.C. I’ve been lucky in this regard.
Interning at Law Media Group has brought me closer to people on the Hill and to the inner workings of American politics, coalition-building and strategy.
How would you describe TWC and its impact to someone else?
The Washington Center connects you to leaders of the future from America and around the world. The professional and personal impact is significant, providing you with a greater sense of perspective and wider net of social connections.
What is the single greatest benefit TWC provides to students such as yourself?
Personally, I’ve been very grateful for the alumni mentors. Meeting with them and getting to know their career paths has given me a vital perspective that I have needed at this point in my life. If you’re graduating soon or are a recent graduate, you may only have an idea of the wider field that you feel passionate about. Getting insight from them in terms of their career path is especially valuable when you’re in that position.
What advice would you share with future TWC interns?
Meet people. Everybody in D.C. knows the importance of making connections in your field. If only out of curiosity, attend conferences and events related to your interests. The more you attend, the more likely you are to meet influential and interesting people who are willing to share some advice at an informational interview, or join you for coffee. It's surprising how receptive they can be if you show initiative in reaching out to them with confidence. You're not in D.C. forever, so make sure you're utilizing the network of professionals that are based there.