This is the fourth and final post 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.
My time at the White House is wrapping up and, though it’s bittersweet, I am preparing to return to campus in January with six months in the nation’s capital behind me. I still feel very blessed to have had such a unique opportunity—so very few people get these amazing experiences that I can’t help but enjoy them. As I pack my bags, buy my books, and prepare for my classes, though, I want to answer a question that people have asked—including myself—about why I, of all people, was presented with this unique opportunity.
How did I get the job? I didn’t have anybody pull any strings; I didn’t maneuver House of Cards-style into the job. Instead, my methods were much more mainstream (and much less Hollywood-inspired). Even in a “who you know” town like Washington, the truly great places—like the White House—have to also consider what you know—your experiences, education, and abilities. So I was proud of my efforts to snatch every opportunity I could— from jobs and internships to on-campus leadership positions and community service. I give a lot of credit to Wright State for making many of those experiences available.
But the key thing I did that separates me from the thousands who would love to work here is also the most simple: I applied. No gimmicks, no backroom deals. It didn’t matter how robust my resume was if no one ever saw it! So in full recognition that it was an unlikely outcome and that I would be lucky to even get an interview, I did the simplest yet most difficult decision a job-seeker can ever do: I sent in my application.
The White House is a huge, diverse place with people from every niche of American culture. Interns were from the boroughs of New York to the tiny towns of rural Texas. The two things that bind us all together are our love for our country and our decision to seize the opportunity that presented itself and apply. I credit everything that I’ve been able to do and experience these past few months to that decision.
And all I can do, if you’re interested in creating experiences that will change your life, is suggest you do the very same—take part on campus, get work experiences to put on your resume, and then send that resume out! You never know…you may just end up working at the White House.
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.