This is the second in a series of articles describing Wright State student Spencer Brannon’s experiences as an intern for the Executive Office of the President at the White House.
In any big city, there’s always a lot going on. At the White House, that’s doubly true. From visitors from foreign governments to special ceremonies recognizing America’s bravest citizens and soldiers to the Segway-riding tourists constantly parading down Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House campus is a 24/7 activity zone.
Last week, I was researching a report when a coworker asked if I wanted to join her in a meeting. Thinking nothing of it, we walked over to EEOB and, on the way, walked past the South Lawn of the White House when, much to our surprise, Marine One took off only 50 feet away. To see the helicopter take off from so close and then fly off, with the Washington Monument in the background, was a unique view we both felt special to experience. It was nearly surreal when I went to the meeting room to find that the White House Chief of Staff was there and preparing to speak.
Before that, I had been eating lunch on the EEOB patio that overlooks the West Wing when an honor guard marched onto the North Lawn. (We were proud to note the Ohio flag flying proudly.) We wondered what was going on for a few moments, but eventually we returned to our meal and talk about work. As we were leaving to return to the office, however, we noticed the prime minister of Pakistan was being welcomed, one of the most important state-level visitors the White House had seen in a long time. It was surreal to be there, witnessing that, and then to return to the office and walk past CNN anchors commenting on the historic nature of the visit, showing a livestream of the honor guard we just left.
When these things happen, it serves as a nice reminder that the work I do is important not only for the success of the office or the White House, but it is also important for the long-term success of the nation. And though I do recognize that I play just a tiny part in the total output of EOP, brief reminders of who ends up using the systems my office creates and services is a big motivator. I look forward to sharing more about that work in the future.
Spencer Brannon is a senior political science and economics student at Wright State. A former student worker in the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing, Brannon also served as the chief of staff for Wright State’s Student Government. Brannon is the current chairman of the Ohio Student Government Association. He recently concluded internships in the Office of the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration and in the Executive Office of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C.