Every year, Laurentians headed for summer internships in Washington D.C. pack their best business attire, prepare to navigate the Metro system, and tap their networks to find temporary housing in our nation’s capital city. Many of these students got their first taste of living and working in D.C. while on a SLU Connect networking trip earlier in the year.
Both Allee Mack ’24 and Fousani Hamidou ’24 participated in one of these trips over winter break, when they spent a long weekend meeting with alumni and parents working on and off the Hill. They attended a panel discussion at the U.S. Department of State, toured sites including the Capitol Building and World Bank, participated in roundtable discussions with industry experts, and more.
This opportunity served as a springboard for their summer internships.
“I first learned about this internship through an alum on the SLU Connect trip. After returning, I worked on refining my resume and interview skills with the Center for Career Excellence to secure the position for the summer,” says Allee, a government major and history minor from Marietta, New York. She was an intern for ACG Advocacy, located in the heart of the city near D.C.’s Dupont Circle.
The summer after a student’s junior year is a crucial time to build their resume and pursue work experiences that inform their future careers. This was true for Fousani, a global studies major and African studies minor from the Bronx in New York City. He spent his summer interning as a legislative intern in the House of Representatives for Rep. Paul D. Tonko (NY-20).
“SLU Connect was a valuable chance to meet with alumni working in both the Senate and the House and learn about their responsibilities. I’m interested in helping to create change, and working in policy is one of the biggest ways to do so. I wanted to see the process in person,” he says. "I jumped at the opportunity to intern in the House, and my supervisor was Connor Glitz, an alum who graduated in 2021.”
Allee, like Fousani, is confident that she wants to work in the realm of politics but was curious to explore career opportunities that directly impact efforts on the Hill. On an average day at ACG, she attended meetings with the partners and worked with the research team to determine her tasks, which sometimes included attending meetings on the Hill with partners and clients.
“I particularly enjoyed working with a senior partner and the League of Women Voters, one of her clients,” says Allee. “I gained experience briefing hearings for the client and attended several Hill meetings with congressional staffers to discuss voting legislation.”
Outside of the office, Allee connected with other students interning in D.C., including two in Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) office—Joey Perras ’24 and Bryn Pearson ’25.
“Shawn Smeallie ’81 is the founder of ACG, so I was able to meet with him as well,” says Allee.
Making the Most of Summer in the City
Arguably one of the biggest benefits of spending a summer in D.C. is the chance to enjoy a change in pace from the academic year in small-town Canton and take advantage of opportunities in a major city.
"I appreciated the accessible public transportation that made it possible to explore events and museums across D.C.—the majority of which are free,” says Fousani. “I also spent time on U Street, which is known as a prominent Black neighborhood filled with food, music, rich culture, and Black-owned businesses.”
Both Bryn and Allee received funding to support their cost of living over the summer from the Jocelyn White Martin ’75 Endowed Internship and Fellowship Fund. Fousani was awarded funding through the Alumni Executive Council Endowment for Internships and Experiential Learning.
According to the Center for Career Excellence, of the 15 students that attended SLU Connect D.C., nearly a third secured summer 2023 internships, including history major and religious studies minor Paul Sheehan ’25. He spent his summer interning for the U.S Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, serving on behalf of ranking minority Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), thanks to support from former committee staff member Hunter Koski ’14. Paul received the St. Lawrence History Department’s Vilas Internship Fellowship to support his summer experience.
“I collaborated with several other interns and Graham Owens, the top regulatory lawyer on the minority staff, on a piece of legislation that seeks to eliminate the red tape and regulatory constraints around small businesses—an experience that only furthered my interest in pursuing a law career,” says Paul, a native of Saratoga Springs, New York. “Overall, it was a great honor to work every day for the people of the United States of America.”
Learn more about career preparation and exploration opportunities—including networking trips, one-on-one coaching, alumni mentoring, and resume help.