Penn Arts & Sciences Logo
Events, alumni networking, courses, and internships for Penn students on campus and in D.C.

Student Blog

Past and current PIW semester participants have shared useful information on where to intern, fellowship opportunities, and living and working in Washington. You'll find those in chronological order below, most recent posts first. Check the sidebar for recently added collections, starting with a semester long blog from the State Department.

  • 6 State Department Decision Time

    Interning at State

    On Monday, the weekend after my interview with the Central Europe Office, I had the interview with the Policy Office. The same day, the Policy Officer offered me a position at the office and gave me a liberal singular day to decide. Now, I was in quite the predicament. Should I wait for the Central Europe Office to get back to me? Should I wait for other offices to contact me? Which office do I prefer? I decided, as before, to call for emergency help. On Monday, while at work, I scheduled a call with Dr. Martinez and reached out to the State Department contact from before.

  • Introductory Blog Post

    Connecting Conservatives

    Hi everyone!

    My name is Danielle Yampolsky, and I am a senior at Penn concentrating in Finance at Wharton and minoring in Political Science. I am a Philadelphia native and first generation American, as my parents immigrated from the Soviet Union nearly 30 years ago. In 2019, I had the honor of serving as the President of the Penn College Republicans. Now, I am spending this semester in Washington, DC (through Penn in Washington), where I will be interning for Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at the Republican National Committee.

  • 5 State Department Callbacks

    Interning at State

    After submitting my application, all I could do was wait. According to the instructions, the State Department would notify applicants if a bureau was interested in interviewing you by July 19th, which happened to be a Friday. Coincidentally, I had scheduled my flight to Ukraine for the following Monday. I figured I was in for a hectic weekend, if I was lucky. Or a really depressing flight to Ukraine. Either way, I settled in for the wait.

  • 4 State Department Help

    Interning at State

    When I reached out to Dr. Martinez for help with the statement of interest, I honestly did not expect for Dr. Martinez to then put me in touch with a senior foreign officer at the State Department. As these things tend to go, I waited until less than two weeks before the application was due (something I earnestly do not recommend but something that inevitably happens to the worst of us), when I had finally tentatively written my statement of interest and chosen my bureaus, to ask for input. So, when I reached out to Dr.

  • 3 State Department Bureaus

    Interning at State

    Choosing Bureaus and Seeking Help

  • 2 State Department Application Process

    Interning at State

    In a nutshell, the application process for the State Department is thorough; not necessarily difficult or overwhelming, but definitely and most certainly long.

  • 1 State Department Intro

    Interning at State

    The passing scenery, the hum of the engine, and the gentle rocking of the train offer the perfect opportunity to reflect on the journey I am about to begin, interrupted, perhaps ironically, by a short trip home. Home is truly a strange phenomenon. When my parents, brother, and I moved here from Ukraine, home, for a while, remained my grandparents’ house in the small village I grew up in. In those first few months, I remember shutting myself in the bathroom of our first apartment, crying on the floor while my mom tried to coax me out; I had little interest in the new reality.

  • Alumni Spotlight: Kim Ford

    Fels graduate and congressional candidate Kim Ford came to campus on Friday, March 16th, to speak to students about the different aspects of running for office.  Kim was formerly the Dean of the University of the District of Columbia Community College and also served in the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education.  As a native Washingtonian, Kim is running against incumbent Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has held the office since 1990, to create opportunities for District residents.

  • Penn in Washington Seniors' Postgrad Plans!

    Penn in Washington is proud to announce that our graduating seniors are happily employed post-graduation!

    Check out the killer jobs they scored after their semesters and summers interning in D.C. below - many of their careers and educational pursuits are taking them far beyond D.C., but they'll always be Penn in Washington alumni.

    It wouldn't be Penn without at least a few consultants! One of our students will be expanding on her policy work in Washington by focusing on state and local government accounts for PwC.

  • Penn in Washington Student Wins Best Political Science Major Honors!

    The Political Science Department's Robert Holtz Memorial Prize, awarded to the best overall Political Science major graduating each May, is being awarded to Jordan Dannenberg!