For many college students, finding meaningful summer employment can be a struggle. Students look for internships that will not only help pay the bills but also put them on the right path for their future career goals — all while competing with thousands of other college students for these internships. Christendom students Ashlianna Kreiner, Maggie Black, and Maria Vicente all carried those same worries and hopes with them when they sought out internships for this summer, but all three landed internships in nearby Washington, D.C., with their liberal arts education giving them an edge in the workplace.
Kreiner, Black, and Vicente each took quickly to the fast-paced environment of D.C., with Kreiner and Vicente both working for the Media Research Center and Black working for the Heritage Foundation. Both organizations see hundreds of applications each summer from college students just like them, looking for employment that will advance their future careers and help them make a difference in the culture. According to Black, their time at Christendom was the difference-maker both in getting these internships and adapting quickly to the demands of working in D.C.
“Undoubtedly, the rigorous academic curriculum at Christendom and the accompanying writing skill formation helped distinguish me in the application process,” says Black. “As a result of the demanding coursework at Christendom my work ethic was strengthened, which was a crucial skill to have in the fast-paced environment.”
Every day at the Heritage Foundation was different for Black but in a great way. Serving as an intern in the policy promotion office, Black took on a variety of projects, from researching and disseminating updates on conservative topics to even representing Heritage at the International Religious Freedom Conference and at the Foundation’s own Annual Resource Bank Meeting in Austin, Texas.
Black is a political science and economics major at Christendom — a background that undoubtedly helped her at the conservative think-tank. Even more, though, the critical thinking and writing skills she has gained through her liberal arts education gave her the edge necessary to succeed in a highly demanding field.
Critical thinking and writing are just two soft skills that employers are always looking for in job candidates, but they are two that are especially prevalent in liberal arts majors. Kreiner and Vicente both relied on these soft skills, in addition to the rest of their liberal arts background, in their media communications internships as well this summer.
Kreiner, a theology major at Christendom, worked as a CNS news reporter in D.C. for the Media Research Center, an internship that put her right on Capitol Hill for most of the summer months. Just last week, Kreiner spent a day interviewing 43 U.S. Senators — a marathon accomplishment.
While each week looked different for Kreiner, they typically followed a distinct pattern: researching story ideas and writing articles on Mondays and Fridays and interviewing senators on Capitol Hill the rest of the week. From the end of May to the end of August, Kreiner penned nearly 100 articles on a variety of today’s biggest topics — a testament both to her incredible drive and to the writing skills she has honed at Christendom.
“Christendom helped me in multiple ways: writing skills, analysis, and critical thinking,” says Kreiner. “When you are writing stories there is so much research and writing that goes on behind the scenes. Through my studies at Christendom, I was not intimidated by reading and writing on reports, bills, or legal cases that were pages long.”
Those same skills helped Vicente thrive at the Media Research Center as well. Her passion for the values of truth and freedom, born out of her Cuban heritage, led her to the internship at the Media Research Center, after receiving assistance from Christendom’s Career Office.
“I want to thank my professors and supervisors at Christendom who helped me through their recommendations, especially Mrs. Stephens, who initially helped me with my internship research and met with me many times to help edit drafts of essays and applications,” says Vicente, who is majoring in political science and economics. “Along with the constant encouragement from these amazing people, the writing and research skills I gained from two years at Christendom were a great advantage when it came to writing articles in an organized and creative format.”
Working in the Latino Newsbusters Department, Vicente helped identify bias from spanish media networks, edit video clips, write and translate articles and publish them, as well as research projects for the organization over the summer months. She even was given the opportunity to write on the protests in Cuba this summer — an impactful moment for her and her Cuban relatives.
Looking ahead, Vicente, a rising junior, is hopeful to continue in this field after graduation. No matter what she, Kreiner or Black do after graduation, they will aim to make an impact in the culture for the better, just as College Founder Dr. Warren H. Carroll always hoped for.
Christendom’s proximity to the Nation’s Capital has led to many students and graduates working in some of the country’s top news agencies, think tanks, and more since the college’s founding. From defending life in the halls of Congress to bringing integrity back to journalism, Christendom alumni are striving to “restore all things in Christ” in the beating heart of America.
Kreiner, Black, and Vicente are now a part of a great history of Christendom students and alumni serving in Washington, D.C., and they assuredly will not be the last, working to return Christ to the center of American culture.