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Megan Smith has always had a passion for politics. In the summer of 2012, she took her passion and education to Washington, D.C., as part of the 2012 Smeds Executive Internship Program.
“I have studied political societies throughout the world, but actually working in a political setting — in the heart of American politics in Washington, D.C. — helped me develop a deeper understanding of politics in practice,” she said.
Megan worked as an intern in the office of Rep. Bruce Braley, who represents the 1st District of Iowa, where Megan is from.
“This internship opportunity allowed me to fully engage and experience life on Capitol Hill, and think about where I see myself after Carthage,” she said. “I drafted letters to constituents, took phone calls regarding bills, prepared for meetings, processed scheduling requests, delivered co-sponsorship notices to the House floor, and worked on small projects with specific legislative staffers and correspondents.”
“Dr. Jeffrey Roberg is my favorite professor at Carthage and an asset to the Political Science Department. He continually pushes and challenges students to perform at their highest level while encouraging involvement both in and out of the classroom. Dr. Roberg is very committed to both his students and advisees, and develops strong relationships with them throughout their years at Carthage and for years after. On many levels, Dr. Roberg fosters student success.”
“I have enjoyed taking Campaigns and Elections so far this fall, which offers an in-depth analysis and critique of American political campaigns. The class is not only relevant with the presidential election, but is taught as a symposium with the Communication and Digital Media Department and the Political Science Department. The junction between the departments allows students to be creative and design a mock campaign for Congress, while considering real issues such as campaign finance, specific election tactics and advertising, which some of us might actually seek as a career path after graduation.”
“As a freshman, I struggled most with Political Theory and understanding ideals and concepts put forth by philosophers and theologians like Plato and applying their arguments to my own writing.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“I love being involved here and meeting so many great people along the way. Carthage creates a lot of opportunities for leadership, and through those experiences on campus, I’ve definitely become a stronger person over the last four years. The faculty is also very welcoming and recognizes students who set goals for themselves, providing support along the way.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“My biggest surprise so far has been how much I’ve changed since college started. I think a big part of college that you never expect is admitting what you don’t know, and trying to learn as much as you can while you have the opportunity to take challenging courses.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Don’t limit yourself to a specific area of interest. Try to be very open to taking courses and exploring areas of emphasis you hadn’t previously considered. It’s also very beneficial to develop a close relationship with an advisor or faculty member.”