Director of career development Kristin Stephens recently led a group of twenty-three students on a visit to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. The day-long excursion allowed students to explore career advancement opportunities in the DC area, particularly through the Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

Christendom alumna Colleen Harmon (‘13), Intern Program Manager at the Heritage Foundation, introduced students to the think tank, gave students a tour, spoke about the internship program at Heritage, and gave advice on starting a career in the DC political realm.

As DC’s leading conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation has one of the most highly ranked and competitive conservative internship programs in the Nation’s Capital, with many Christendom students having participated in the program over the years. In 2019 alone, five Christendom students and alumni have taken part in the Young Leaders Program. In this internship, students have worked in a variety of departments, gaining skills in policy research, journalism, event planning, fundraising, and more.

Throughout the program, Heritage interns attend many policy briefings and the First Principles Lecture Series (political philosophy lectures). Christendom students are well prepared to engage in these lectures, as they have already begun to explore political philosophy in the classroom during the academic year.

While visiting, students were able to get a taste of the intellectual formation this program has to offer. Policy Analyst Dr. John York spoke with students about the first principles of political philosophy: rights, equality, and freedom. York explained how to respond to frequently-used political talking points using these principles, giving students a philosophical starting point for engaging in conversation with those with whom they disagree politically.

Harmon encouraged students to take advantage of Christendom’s career development office, which helps students to prepare a professional resume and cover letter, and to find internship and employment opportunities relevant to their interests.

Maggie Black (’23) was particularly inspired by Harmon’s advice. “I was encouraged to research opportunities and be proactive, and especially to build up my resume in preparation for internships even now as a freshman.”

Christendom College’s ideal location, just 70 miles west of Washington, DC, allows students to take advantage of a variety of internship opportunities, both throughout the school year and during the summer months. Along with internships at the Heritage Foundation, Christendom students have found success at the Leadership Institute, the Koch Foundation, the Media Research Center, a variety of congressional offices, and at other major think tanks.

This article was written with contributions from Gabriela Pariseau (’20). 

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