Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Excuse me...don't you mean "public transportation"?

This past week has been busy, busy, busy!!! Towards the beginning of the week, the Congressional Interns all had the privilege of meeting with our sponsors from MEAF again. This time it was for a dinner at Ella’s Pizza on Tuesday night. As usual, I had a great time getting to catch up with Kevin and Allison who man the two person DC MEAF office. The dinner was excellent, and I don’t think any of us could have asked for better company. It was nice to relax after a day at the office and hear what everyone else had been up to. Wednesday brought more excitement in the form of a lunch meeting with Bart Peterson who is the Senior Vice President for Eli Lilly. My mom’s company works in close partnership with Eli Lilly, so I was familiar with the company and eager to have an opportunity to listen and ask questions of a person in the upper levels of the company’s management. It was fascinating to hear about Mr. Peterson’s career which has been anything but ordinary. I never really considered how many career paths one person could have, but given that he has been a lawyer, mayor, and now the Senior VP it has become very clear to me that you can enter any profession at any stage in your life.

To wrap up the week, I had the chance to attend an intern lecture from the media department of the House Ways and Means Committee. This session was very focused on how best to take a message of a politician and send it out to the public. Although I cannot foresee a press secretary position in my future, I believe this message is quite applicable to any person who is trying to “sell” something whether it is a business plan, candidate, product, or even yourself to an employer. The presenter, Sage, also left us with one very memorable and often overlooked piece of advice as well: “to spell check ‘public transportation’ and ‘pubic transportation’ are the same thing”. Apparently, a staff person that Sage worked with once made this extremely minor mistake which then became available to the press and turned into a giant embarrassment. By using this little anecdote, Sage impressed upon us the fact that when sending out a written statement whether it’s in a cover letter, press release, or product label proofreading is VERY important. Considering he was speaking to a group of interns who grew up in the computer-age, this may not have been the most insightful advice we have ever gotten in our careers, but I can promise you, not a single person who was in that room will ever send out another written document without quadruple-checking it again.

Overall, this week was pretty jam-packed with events and lectures from which I took a lot of useful information. I know the next couple weeks are going to be even crazier, but I am definitely looking forward to them!! Until next time, have a great week!!

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