Kyle Warbinton ’20 NASPA– I’ve been privileged to spend my summer in the center of America’s political scene and fully immerse myself in the hustle and bustle, gossip, and work that happens in Washington, D.C. With this being my first trip to D.C., I don’t think I was truly ready for what I would be experiencing over my eight-week internship. The city is unlike any other in the country, and one needs time to adjust to the style and etiquette that accompanies living and working there. For a city that is as hot and muggy in the summer as Washington can be, the dress is quite conservative and sometimes downright miserable. Learning the art of taking public transit is also somewhat confusing but mastering it will allow anyone to get around the city in a quick and efficient manner. As I said, D.C., due to the nature of its work setting, is quite different than most metropolitan areas.
I’ve been interning at a student affairs and higher education organization called NASPA. The group caters to the needs of almost all higher education institutions in the U.S. and pushes for policy reform for the student affairs profession. In working with NASPA, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge that I think I can use right away when I return to Wabash. In learning, studying, and researching the major issues surrounding student affairs today, I think I be better prepared for my upcoming role representing the student body as president. I can’t thank my co-workers and fellow interns enough for welcoming me to their group and engaging in meaningful dialogue regarding the state of our college campuses today.
To add to my experience with NASPA, I’ve also been privileged with being a Ronald Reagan Institute and Foundation summer scholar. The many different friends and memories that I made through this program showed me that there is hope and a future for productive discourse on our most divisive issues. I can’t wait to see what my fellow Reagan scholars will accomplish as they return to impact their communities around the world.
In a nutshell, my experience this summer has been eye-opening, far too fast, and life-changing. I’m glad that I got to experience D.C. in full, and I can’t wait to apply myself, with my new knowledge, back at Wabash.