LSA Blog

The Washington Semester Experience

Blog Date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hannah Stevenson of Roanoke College spent the spring semester interning with Lutheran Services in America as part of the Lutheran College Washington Semester. Read her perspective of working at our national office supporting marketing projects, social media and events.

Hannah StevensonAs I embarked on my adventure to Washington D.C., I felt a mix of emotions from excitement to nerves, but I knew I couldn’t wait to get started and take on the big city. The Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS) is an amazing opportunity, where students can have an internship, take two classes and participate in organized field trips while living minutes from the nation’s capital.

One aspect that I was most looking forward to about my semester in D.C. was gaining experience in the working world. As a junior at Roanoke College, I am majoring in Literary Studies and Communications. I wanted to find an internship that would combine both of those areas, and I was lucky to come across the Marketing and Communications internship with Lutheran Services in America. Before learning of the opportunity, I had not heard about this organization. However, after doing some research I saw what an amazing organization it was and the great work of the LSA staff.

After speaking with Tania Hernandez-Andersen several times about the internship and the projects I would be a part of, I couldn’t wait to get started. Since joining LSA in late January, I have truly enjoyed every minute. From a very welcoming orientation to working on event planning for the LSA 2015 Annual Conference, I have been able to try a little bit of everything. I am so thankful for this opportunity to be fully immersed into the marketing and communication department here at LSA.

Some interesting projects that I have been working on while here include preparation for both the CEO Academy and the Lutheran Leadership Summit, updating website pages, developing a social media strategy, creating a marketing calendar and working on many elements of event preparation for the Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.

One of many aspects that I love about working for LSA is that due to the small staff size, I am able to interact with several departments and see how it all comes together under one organization. I am gaining great experience in the world of marketing and communications that go far beyond what I have learned in the classroom, and from this I know I am headed in the right direction for work after graduation. It also doesn’t get much better than walking past the Capitol building on my left and the Library of Congress on my right to start my day each morning.

As part of the program requirements, students have to attend a Congressional committee hearing. A few weeks ago, I attended the nomination hearing for Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, it was fascinating to the see the process of what is involved in a hearing. After the hearing, I also had the opportunity to meet and take a picture with Senator John McCain! It was a surreal moment as I stood in the Dirksen senate building shaking his hand during my third week here. Students must also attend or participate in a protest or demonstration that is taking place in the city. One of the first weeks, as I was walking to see the White House, I came across an anti-nuclear arms protest that was traveling across the country to raise awareness about future federal spending on nuclear arms. It was fascinating to see democracy in action and to see activism as a daily occurrence here in D.C.

During my time here, I have also been able to explore and see all of what D.C. has to offer. Some activities have been planned field trips by the LCWS program while others have been fun weekend adventures. One field trip was to speak with White House staffers about their journey from college to career then to tour the White House. I appreciate that the field trips are both interesting and beneficial to us as college students looking to further gain knowledge and insight. Some weekend adventures have included going to a snowball fight in front of the Washington Monument, eating delicious Dim Sum, going to a Georgetown Cabaret concert and watching Shear Madness at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. I look forward to warmer spring weather, the beautiful cherry blossoms and an Earth day concert on the National Mall!

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