June 29, 2017

The Golden Ticket

In recent years, internships in Washington, D.C. and across the nation, have become increasingly competitive. What once was a nice addition to one’s résumé is now an essential qualification.

Washington, D.C. is saturated with young professionals who now make up almost a third of the District’s population. You can thank D.C.’s strong job market for the steady influx of 20- to 30-year-olds, which is compounded by the swaths of students that descend upon Capitol Hill every summer.

Many argue that an internship on Capitol Hill is unlike any other. It’s an opportunity to see how the federal government works – the issues, the politics, the processes – and to begin building one’s network.

With a unique vantage on the inner workings of Capitol Hill, Cornerstone Government Affairs offers young professionals the opportunity to learn and engage on important issues affecting our country. We provide our interns the opportunity to work across a wide range of issues – agriculture, defense, health, cybersecurity and education, among many others – on behalf of clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to startups, non-profits, trade associations, hospitals and municipalities. In 2017, our interns have been able to dive into issues like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Repeal and Replace bill, the Department of Defense budget, FAA Reauthorization, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act, the FY17 Farm Bill, and the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act.

From the beginning, our interns are treated like family – as is everyone else at the firm. We give them the opportunity to learn, to ask questions, to take on more responsibility, and to build relationships with our 60+ professionals.

“My internship experience with Cornerstone can be summed up in one word: opportunity. Interns have endless opportunities to engage in valuable learning experiences that help to grow you both personally and professionally. For me, I had the opportunity to hone in on my writing skills through drafting memoranda for clients, as well as learn the ins and outs of the federal appropriations process from various Cornerstone professionals,” said former Cornerstone intern, Caroline Finnell, who will start her first full-time job this month with the national non-profit, KaBOOM!.  “Cornerstone operates on an open-door policy.  As a result, I grew my network through working with many different professionals. I really benefited from their advice on different industries when I was searching for my first job after graduation.”

Cornerstone’s internship has acted as a launching pad for many of our interns. Our network of intern alumni includes a staff member for Congressman Comer (R-KY), staff for Majority Whip Scalise (R-LA), a senior regulatory affairs specialist at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a policy expert at Airbnb, a former director of advance for President Obama, an executive assistant to the co-director of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a former senior aide to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and now business development professional at Shinola, and two Cornerstone associates.

Today, more than ever, an internship is a vital channel to future hiring. CEOs and industry leaders often refer to their first internship and how it got them to where they are today. Whether paid or unpaid, an internship is a priceless opportunity. Some might even say, it’s the Golden Ticket to a successful career.