by Jessica Li, 2010 APAICS Intern
Seven weeks ago, when I started my internship, I didn’t really understand networking. For me, it usually just meant exchanging smiles, names, schools, and cards and then never seeing each other again.
Being part of APAICS and attending CAPAL‘s Washington Leadership Program every week changed all that. We still exchanged smiles, names, schools, and cards, but that was only the beginning. Every week at WLP, I would bump into interns I’d already met and because we’d already gotten past the introductions, we had a chance to get to know each other more. Soon enough, I was bumping into interns at receptions, on subways, in hallways, at parties. Just a bunch of interns coincidentally bumping into each other and starting to build connections.
Hopefully there will come a time when I won’t have to rely on coincidence and have the courage to set up meetings with people I’m interested in getting to know. But until then, I feel extremely fortunate to have organizations like APAICS and CAPAL bring interns together and help us break the ice.
The best part of this internship experience is that the friends I’ve made at CAPAL events are only bonuses. The most fulfilling networking, and the networking I’ve enjoyed the most, has been within APAICS itself. We “network” at movies, restaurants, museums, parties, and monuments. APAICS has really been a home away from home.
We’ll all be leaving soon, but I’d say that if you’ve made at least one or two meaningful or lasting connections throughout your internship experience, you’ve networked successfully. I’m happy to say that with APAICS, CAPAL, and the interns in my office, I’ve been able to make many.
An internship in DC is already an amazing experience, but having networks like APAICS and CAPAL will turn your summer into more than work experience, but also into incredible memories with good laughs, food, and friends.
Jessica Li is a 2010 APAICS Summer Intern in the office of Congresswoman Judy Chu. She is currently studying Political Science and French as a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley.