By Chelsea Feuchs, JWI Intern
Recently, JWI hosted the first of this year’s Summer Series for Interns and Young Professionals roundtables, titled “Being a Young Professional Woman in D.C.” Two successful women, Danielle Rodman, Senior Legislative Assistant to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Arielle Linsky, Senior Account Manager at OMP, led the talk. Both women explained their career paths and provided helpful insight into the daunting and often resented work of internships and first jobs.
Rather than offer a handful of clichés to the audience, as many speakers in similar situations do, the two women provided funny and practical advice for the audience. So, for all of you ladies that could not attend this meeting let me provide the SparkNotes version here:
- Lower your expectations: Your first job won’t be your last, so it’s okay if you’re not in love with it
- Always be ready to find a job: Have copies of an up-to-date resume ready (to get closer to that dream job)
- Send thank you notes: Your grandma was right, they make all the difference
- Take notes: You may think your mind is a steel trap, but do it anyway to avoid looking disengaged or clueless
Rodman and Linsky also stressed the importance of passion and excitement for work, even if you have to feign it sometimes. You don’t need to be a cheerleader because, let’s face it, that girl is too much to handle even after a morning coffee, but doing your tasks well and with a smile is a simple way to excel.
Most importantly, you must be specific about what you want. You may be able to answer verbatim what an interviewer wants to hear, but the right answer is the one that blends this understanding with the truth about your goals and expectations. This piece of advice takes more than purchasing thank you notes or a legal pad, it means digging deep to find what matters to you and practicing articulating this passion.
Come join JWI for the rest of our Summer Series with “Sexual Assault on College Campuses” on July 11 and “Economic Empowerment and Women” on July 18. Register to hear more amazing speakers and meet fellow professional young women at www.jwi.org/summer.