Experiential learning: through Washington internships, students tackle global policy issues

From think tanks and graduate schools to Capitol Hill and the White House, five global affairs students made Washington, DC their classroom this summer, deepening their learning through internships funded by a new Keough School initiative. 

The recently launched Global Affairs Summer Washington Internship Program provides participants with real-world policy experience, mentoring, and community building. Students learn how to research opportunities, prepare for interviews, and ultimately secure a position. They receive generous funding to cover summer rent in Washington, as well as a weekly stipend. 

As part of the experience, students meet regularly with Keough School Washington Office faculty and staff, network with policymakers, and benefit from the extensive connections the school and Notre Dame have in the city. Crucially, they connect with alumni of the school’s Master of Global Affairs program to deepen their understanding of global policy issues.  

The opportunity empowers provides undergraduates with valuable professional connections and practical knowledge, preparing them for impact careers in policy work. 

Summer 2023 highlights


Madeline Jepko 


US House of Representatives
US Senate

I split my time between Congressman Brad Finstad’s and Senator Amy Klobuchar’s offices as a congressional intern. This entailed drafting memos, attending hearings, tending to constituent concerns, and conducting research in various fields. The experience deepened my studies in global affairs by unveiling strategies on how to achieve effective change and showing the inner workings of an established government. 

In the future, I hope to work on improving relations between the United States and other nations. This internship will serve as a useful resource for this aspiration, as a deep understanding of the federal government is a crucial first step to addressing its needs.


Lexi Koplas


Institute of World Politics

Along with an individual research project on US national security, I audited graduate-level courses, attended lectures and conferences, and visited various sites throughout DC. My internship enriched my study of global affairs because it allowed me to engage with practitioners in a variety of fields, such as national security and diplomatic relations.

Looking ahead to my senior year and post-graduation, this internship helped with my career discernment as I discovered what I am most passionate about.



Abby Lamm


Institute of World Politics

I worked as a research assistant focusing on how to strengthen diplomatic relations between countries, with a focus on humanitarian aid. 

My internship enriched my studies of global affairs because I was able to focus my research on topics that relate to my concentration in civil and human rights. I also audited courses, attended lectures, networked with professionals in Washington, and learned about possible future career opportunities. Overall, the experience was incredible, and I am so fortunate to have had it.



Maya Mehigan


American Foreign Policy Council

I conducted research and wrote for the American Foreign Policy Council’s Space Policy Initiative and Defense Technology Program teams. Throughout my internship, I aided in the creation of a strategic primer on space power to be sent to top congresspeople and space executives.

My time with AFPC enriched my interest in delving into both scientific and international relations studies in my future career.


Ashlyn Poppe


The White House

I served as a White House intern in the Presidential Office of Scheduling & Advance, which is responsible for scheduling, planning, and executing the president’s events on campus, around the country, and around the world. 

Global affairs students develop innovative solutions to today’s most complex issues in and outside of the classroom, and I was able to apply my coursework to the fast-paced, dynamic operations of my office. I am passionate about law, politics, and the written word, both domestically and internationally. 

Interning at the White House has shown me what it means to serve one’s country and enact progress—things I hope to achieve through my future career.


Additional Resources

Applications for the Keough School’s summer 2024 internship program are now open. Apply by November 1, 2023.

Global Affairs Major

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