**This is the final post in a series of four posts written by the summer 2017 Honors internship fellows. The students received a stipend that enabled them to work at non-profit organizations for the common good.**
Author: Paul Samson
It’s been said that the “dirty little secret” of Fordham’s Rose Hill Honors students is that they love to learn—not just in class, but on summer vacation, as well. After the Honors Program graciously granted me the Summer Fellowship, I had the funds to further cultivate my love for learning alongside some of America’s top policy experts at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C. Given my previous summers of retail experience, the opportunity to intern at one of America’s top think tanks was an invaluable opportunity that I could not deny.
As an intern in AEI’s development department, I gained knowledge about the donor base fundraising methods, managerial structure, and finances of the non-profit institute. While my responsibilities alone granted me research, computer, and analytical skills, I also had the opportunity to attend weekly intern-only meetings as well as public events with United States Senators, diplomats, and scholars.
Whenever I told my peers and family members that I was venturing to “the District” for the summer, they would tell me something along the lines of, “Brace yourself. Weather-wise, those D.C. summers are intense.” What resonates now, however, is not my constant dehydration in the blistering swamp heat, but my memories of learning and personal development. My conversations with interns and senior scholars constantly challenged me to reevaluate my opinions on public policy. I am beyond grateful to have received the Honors Summer Internship Fellowship, and my experience sparked a desire to further expand my policy knowledge and to promote civil discourse worldwide.