Name: Carolina Machin
Major: Organizational communications with a pre-law track
Where did you intern? For U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
What did you do there? I got to do an array of things such as helping constituents with prevalent issues such as immigration and homeland security. Through this internship, I got to see how hard our senators work and all of the behind-the-scenes planning that goes into helping constituents with any issues they have.
How did you get your internship? I got my internship after conducting major online research and submitting an application months in advance. Followed by an in person interview, I was offered the position.
What projects did you work on? I helped showcase small businesses in our community that are making a difference; worked on briefs regarding any major changes happening to our city that could affect constituents; and helped constituents who wish to become citizens. I attended naturalization ceremonies and a Coast Guard change of command as an event with our vice president.
What was the coolest thing that happened during your internship? The coolest thing has to be meeting our vice president, Mike Pence. It was an incredible experience that I will remember forever and I have pictures and an autograph that I will treasure. Another highlight was meeting the senator and learning about how unglamorous the life of a politician is. They work so hard and spend so much time away from home for the benefit of their constituents.
What did you like most about your experience? What I enjoyed most, besides meeting such important people, was the genuine good that everyone wanted to do. The office'ssole purpose was to help everyone. Any constituent that called and needed any sort of helped was immediately attended and their issues were resolved if possible.
What did you learn about yourself? I have learned that my calling is to be a public servant. Nothing feels better than doing good for the people of our nation.
How did you expand your professional network? I have expanded my professional network so much more than I could’ve imagined—not just with all of the people who work for the senator’s office; attending events every single day, I was able to meet and connect with many people in the community. From mayors, to police chiefs and citizens, my network has vastly expanded.
How does your internship connect back to your coursework? My internship connects back to my coursework in the Honors College because I’ve learned not only to time manage and take the reins of my future but also deeper skills such as critical thinking and how ideologies affect our society today. I found myself to be one of the most prepared interns coming in and that is thanks to the crucial coursework I did through the Honors College.
How did it help you prove yourself in the “real world”? This internship helped me prove myself in the real world because I now know what it takes to “make it,” and how much hard work I need to put in to make everything worth it.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? I suggest looking into internships way in advance as application deadlines can be pretty early. Find the best fit for you and begin working on your application, otherwise you might end up picking an internship just based on availability. Internships can be the key factor in deciding what you would like to do in the future and should be a priority for students.