Internship Spotlight: Leia Ficks, NeW at George Washington University

NeW is proud to highlight the great internship opportunities NeW women are experiencing in the workplace. Meet Leia Ficks, President of NeW at George Washington University and an intern in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs (OASDLA) at the Department of Defense. Learn more about her internship:

Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship due to my previous experience as an intern in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House last summer.

What does your day look like in your internship?
I am lucky enough to provide in-person support at the Pentagon, so each day changes. My typical tasks include watching SASC or HASC hearings, providing read aheads for DoD nominees, or gathering congressional member views. The role of OASDLA is to serve as the liaison between the DoD and Congress. My work helps to prepare DoD officials for congressional engagements, confirmation hearings, or National Defense Authorization Act markups.

What has been your favorite part of the internship so far?
I love the fast pace of a government office and the thrill of being in the Pentagon. More importantly, the DoD mission is important to me, and I feel as though my small role as an intern is part of something bigger.

How does this internship help set you up for your career dreams?
I hope to attend law school. This internship has furthered my writing, research, and analytical skills, which are crucial for that career path. The internship has also expanded my viewpoints, especially given that I experienced a presidential transition. These experiences to date have reinforced my goal to serve as a lawyer in the government in some capacity.

How has your experience with NeW prepared you for this role? 
NeW has provided me with so much confidence, the ability to create new connections, and professional skills. I have certainly become a better leader since joining NeW three years ago. Most importantly, NeW has given me a network of other conservative women and the courage to stand strong in my beliefs.

Any advice for other women who are looking for an internship?
Do not be afraid to speak up, advocate for yourself, and know your worth. Take any opportunities you can to learn more, meet different people, or research new topics. An internship is not always perfect, but it should be a learning experience. Every internship looks different, so find one that fits your general interests.



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