USC rising Junior and ANY Fellow Alumna Elizabeth is a double major in International Relations and NGOs & Social Change. When she saw that the Office of the Vice President was looking for correspondence interns, she knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Despite the distance between Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Elizabeth went into her second-round Zoom interview full of confidence thanks to her experience as an ANY Fellow.
“Doing ANY virtually really helped prepare me. We did a lot of informational interviews throughout my time in [the program], and a big part of my interview was me being able to ask questions about the role itself, opportunities for growth, and learning more about the specific office they were interviewing for. I followed up after the interview, which is something that I also learned from ANY. Advice given to me through my Mentor Coach, and all the training from workshops was very applicable to my interview.”
Once she had the offer, the decision was an easy one, even though she had to make the cross-country move in just two weeks. As a low income, first-generation college student, the White House’s decision to pay interns for the first time in recent history was a big part of what made this opportunity possible for Elizabeth. Being part of the inaugural class of interns for the first-ever woman and Person of Color Vice President could be intimidating, but it was also invigorating.
“At first it felt a little weird. Sometimes I’m still in awe if I see the Vice President walking down the hallway. I have to pinch myself a little bit, but I remind myself it shouldn’t feel weird because I’m a great example of the American people. That’s what helps me overcome that impostor syndrome.”
Elizabeth not only gained crucial experience working in a large team and sharpening her interpersonal skills with colleagues and supervisors alike, she also discovered a new calling.
“Doing this internship, I realized that I really want to pivot into international women’s rights. In correspondence, you read letters from all over the nation, and you realize how international America really is. I was actually working on the White House campus when the Dobbs decision came out. That moment will live in infamy for me. I know we have to keep going, we have to keep fighting, and it renewed my spirit to continue working.”
As she prepares for her senior year and beyond, Elizabeth is grateful for the ANY network and all friendship and guidance it continues to provide. She is especially grateful for her Mentor Coach, Jose, and the ANY staff for supporting her personally and professionally.
“I’m very thankful for ANY. It takes a village and I truly couldn’t have done it without their help and the support of my fellow ANY Fellows. The best relationships aren’t just the vertical ones, they’re also horizontal, and I’ve kept in contact with a lot of Fellows from my school specifically. It’s great, we call each other a big support group.”
Her biggest piece of advice for first-generation college students looking for internships: don’t be afraid to apply!
“Never in a million years did I think I would be working on the White House campus. Don’t discredit yourself from opportunities, and if you don’t get it in the first time, keep trying. Always believe in yourself, always be an advocate for yourself, and don’t forget that, especially if you’re an ANY Fellow, you have the potential to succeed because you know what it means to have gumption.”
Ricky began his time at Baruch College with the goal of becoming a consultant upon graduation. Through ANY, he was able to land an internship at Fortune Global 500 company Accenture and is well on his way to reaching this goal.
“I received an email from [the ANY Program staff] in the fall introducing us to Accenture summer opportunities. I already knew I wanted to do consulting, and Accenture is a very well-known firm in the industry. I was like, ‘I NEED TO GET THIS!’”
Although he had only been an ANY Fellow for a few months, Ricky was already well prepared for the competitive application process.
“Before this internship, I knew what a cover letter was for, but I had never written one. ANY was already hosting cover letter workshops, and that made me feel ready. During the application process, I asked my Mentor Coach to help me check my resume, cover letter, and other interview materials for better preparation. The ANY connection goes on and on. The person who helped write my internship referral was also a Fellow back in college!”
Heading into his first corporate internship, he wasn’t sure what to expect, but he is excited to apply his newly honed skills in his studies and beyond.
“I learned how project management works in a billion-dollar account project behind the scenes. I thought I was good at management skills, but it is another level when you need to ensure that more than 10 workstreams go according to their plans.”
ANY connections ran deep at this internship too! Another Fellow from his cohort, Shivanie, was also a summer Analyst, and the two grew their friendship and expanded their networks this summer. A full-time employee and ANY alum even treated Ricky to lunch.
Ricky’s top advice for Fellows looking for internships:
“Apply for every opportunity you can. If you don’t take the step to submit your application, you lost the game already. Make effective use of ANY resources and the relationships you have. There are people here to help you, but you need to reach out first.”