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From MC to D.C.

Lauren Becker
02/07/2011
This semester, Monica Watson, a Monmouth College senior from Chicago, has traded in the quiet of Monmouth for the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. The communications major landed an internship there with the Human Rights Campaign.

“This is a very prestigious internship,” said her adviser, communications professor Trudi Peterson. “In fact, Monica is the very first intern the HRC has ever employed in its Magazine and Publications division.”

Watson learned about HRC internships while still in grade school, so when the opportunity presented itself to her, she applied. Her application was strengthened by some of her involvements at Monmouth, including A.R.T. (Alternative Religious Traditions) and PRISM (a gay-straight alliance now known as SOUP), in addition to Monmouth Winds and the Fighting Scots Marching Band.

Watson’s responsibilities will include copy editing for the HRC’s quarterly publication, Equality Magazine. She also edits pamphlets such as the State to State Legislation Index, which tracks whether legislation has been passed, is active, or is dead on Capitol Hill.

Watson is blogging about her experiences at http://blogs.monm.edu/hrcintern/. After her first day on the job, she wrote, “Through (touring the building), I could tell that this was going to be a fun bunch of people to work with. They’re all very happy to be there, and you can feed off the positivity in the place. I loved it.”

The internship began on Jan. 10, and Watson is scheduled to remain in Washington until the first week of May. Upon her return, she plans on getting some “real world” job experience and having a clearer idea of a career path before enrolling in graduate school.

As her college experience winds down, Watson offers some advice for Monmouth students: “Don’t feel behind if you have a hard time finding what you truly want to do in life. What you might want to do changes constantly and you become a well-rounded person because of these experiences.”