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This summer I had the privilege of working as one of seven summer interns at FreedomWorks in Washington, D.C. I eagerly wrote my application essays, completed my interview, and anxiously awaited an acceptance email. After a few nerve-racking days, I received the email that I had been waiting for. I would join the development team and started planning my move from Florida to the nation’s capital for the summer.
I’ve completed several internships before, but interning at FreedomWorks is an experience like no other. You’re not given stereotypical menial intern tasks like grabbing coffee and making copies. Every intern role at FreedomWorks creates value and has purpose. There are so many different departments within FreedomWorks you’re sure to find a department where will you will succeed.
All the interns sit together at what is known as “intern island,” and since there are only seven of us, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over the past ten weeks. Although we each work in a different department, we have a weekly lunch together with a member of staff who sits down to discuss their role at FreedomWorks. The lunches are something we all look forward to, as every FreedomWorks staff member is so knowledgeable in their issue area. We even had the opportunity to have a lunch with FreedomWorks' president, Adam Brandon. It was amazing he took time out of his schedule to eat pizza and talk to the interns.
In addition to our lunches, we have a weekly reading discussion led by one of us. Every week we are assigned a different section of readings from our intern reader that range from Bastiat and Locke to Jefferson and Madison. The discussions can sometimes turn into friendly debates -- that’s what makes it fun. I think all of us have learned so much this summer and strengthened our own personal philosophy with our classically liberal readings!
The office culture at FreedomWorks is obviously a ton of fun, but some of my favorite memories from the summer have been those we made out of the office. Since FreedomWorks is located so close to Capitol Hill, we have easy access events and meetings with members of Congress. In the beginning of the summer, we got to meet with Rep. Thomas Massie, and we had a few visits from Sen. Mike Lee as well. I also got to attend the Freedom Fighter Awards, where I got to meet over 30 Members of Congress who were receiving an award for their outstanding voting records.
Not all of our outings have been to the Hill, just last week visited the Federal Communications Commission and got the chance to sit down with Chairman Ajit Pai. We discussed everything from net neutrality to the American dream. That’s something that I have loved so much about being an intern here, every day is exciting and different.
Every intern class chooses a location for their field trip (it’s all about choice here at FreedomWorks), and this summer we chose to visit Mount Vernon, VA. Even though it rained for most of the day, it was such a great experience. Many of us had never been to Mount Vernon, so we spent the day soaking (literally) in the estate, touring the mansion, and exploring the museum.
With all this fun you’re probably questioning if we actually work? As a matter of fact, we do! As a member of the development team, I work closely with my supervisor and team lead. My job focused on conducting research, assisting with written donor correspondence, and donor communications. Development, not your thing? No worries. I asked my fellow interns what they each do in their daily roles, get an idea for what everyone does below;
“As a member of the communications team, I have had the opportunity to create content for both the website and social media pages.” Garrett Kehr- Communications Intern
“I work with a Ph.D. economist in producing written economic analysis regarding technology and regulatory issues. The analysis has a particular focus on new innovations and emerging markets.” Andrew Magloughlin - Economic Research Intern
“I am an intern for the Regulatory Action Center under Patrick Hedger. I assist Patrick in identifying regulations that are burdensome on the economy, inhibit job growth, or create hardships for the American worker.” Isaac Edikauskas - Regulatory Action Center Intern
“As a member of the Intern Squad, I work with the Digital Marketing team to produce content for our Facebook page of over 4 million followers. I also get to write blog posts about all sorts of issues related to FreedomWorks' issue set.” Nicholas Lisowski - Digital Marketing Intern
“As an intern for the policy department, I attend events on behalf of the organization, do reports on them, create content for their website, analyze policy and events that are going on in the states and DC, and follow legislation.” Brett Heinisch - Policy Intern
"As the grassroots intern, I recruit for our events across the country, compile sign ups for future activism events, and write blogs for publication on our website." Christine Burger - Grassroots Intern
So as you can tell, the interns here at FreedomWorks get to work in a variety of different departments, all having a real impact on the team here at FreedomWorks and their activist community.
They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but I didn’t expect it to fly this fast. I am so grateful for my time at FreedomWorks this summer. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and challenging summer. I have learned so much, made lasting friendships, and now have a deeper understanding of how economic freedom solves everyday problems!