AU Interns: Inside the White House

AU Interns: Inside the White House
Greg Saperstein worked at the White House Office of Correspondence, where he responded to mail sent to President Obama.

Two American University students had a unique opportunity to intern at the White House this summer.

Greg Saperstein, a rising senior in the School of Communication, worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence, responding to mail sent to the White House.

“Every day there is something new and it is a fast-paced office,” Saperstein wrote in an email.

Nile Johnson, who just completed her masters in SIS, is an intern in the Office of Scheduling and Advance, which coordinates the itineraries for the President and the White House Press Corps. The office also handles logistics regarding those events.

“Given the challenges currently facing our nation, it is a humbling experience to be here,” Johnson said in an email. “The 110 percent that each of my colleagues gives every day is nothing short of extraordinary.”

Both students said they have a passion for public service, making their current experience all the more valuable.

“The value I place on being a public servant combined with this current administration’s inclusiveness of young Americans in every facet of the White House contributed to my desire to serve as a White House intern,” Johnson wrote.

White House interns are given the opportunity to participate in many different community service projects throughout D.C. At the White House Internship Program Speaker Series, Johnson introduced Special Assistant to the President and Personal Aide to the President, Reggie Love. Saperstein got to meet Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Johnson will begin a career in the Foreign Service upon the conclusion of her internship, and Saperstein will start an internship at a marketing firm in Arlington, Va.

Though neither intern was paid, they were both thrilled to have the opportunity to work in a professional environment among coworkers who were passionate about what they were doing.

“Working at the White House is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am glad to be a part of it,” Saperstein wrote.

Ten American University students have done internships for credit at the White House in the past three years, according to AU Career Center Director of Experiential Education Francine Blume.

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