This week I began my internship at the Institute of Educational Leadership. Already within the first week this experience has given me insight into not only what careers I wish to pursue in the future, but also which careers I may wish to avoid. Having been used to 14 hour shifts, where I was constantly moving around and interacting with my clients, sitting at a desk for 8 hours takes some time getting used to. I found myself looking forward to lunch break simply to work on cross word puzzles with my coworkers or to stroll outside in search of fresh air. Transitioning to the office workplace as a whole takes time to adjust, but my experience working as a research assistant and maintaining executive board positions in various student organizations at my University has helped make the transition smoother.
I also attended my first meeting outside the office this week. It was a great experience for me to really see the workings and goals of the organization and our continued struggle to get states to make the appropriate resources available to youth in addition to adults. It was also a great networking experience as many of the board’s members were not from the area and had traveled to D.C. for the meeting. I even met a woman who had strong connections with the Deaf community and was able to interpret for me if I needed. This meeting was another strong reminder that it really is a small world and networking opportunities may arise at any moment.
This upcoming week I will be attending the annual NCIL conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel as well as a meeting at the Department of Labor on Tuesday. The opportunity to attend such conferences and meetings is a wonderful benefit to being an AAPD intern here in Washington, D.C. I hope to be able to share that experience with you in my next blog.