Internship Spotlight: Emily Runge, ’16

Written by Luke Daigneault

When does life after college begin? Prudence might say it begins while you’re still in college.

We all know that internships are the practice dummies of today’s professional world. More specifically, they are the starting point for many who seek a post-graduate career in the field of politics.

Senior politics major Emily Runge is one such hopeful. She interned in Washington, D.C., during the spring of 2015 at the Heritage Foundation in their Asian Studies Center, which is part of the Davis Foreign Policy Institute.

“I had several tasks,” Emily says. “I organized and collected news stories on different areas of south Asia. I did various research assignments such as a study on foreign fighters going to ISIS or analyzing certain racial segregation laws in countries like Myanmar.”

Emily also wrote four articles that ended up published in the Daily Signal. “I learned a different style of writing,” she says. “Policy blogging is very different from editorial or essay writing.”

The Asian Studies Center was not something Emily stumbled upon in college, however.

“I had been reading their publication since I was in high school. It was really an incredible opportunity, because I had been using their articles in debate for years, and suddenly I was working for them!”

Hillsdale sends a number of interns to Heritage each year. There were three others with Emily last spring. Emily emphasizes that students interested in internships can start the process by contacting Career Services.

“Everybody needs help with their resume. Mine has changed a lot since I’ve come to college, and Career Services really helped me shape it into what it is today. I also did some mock interviews that really helped as well.”

She credits the Hillsdale alumni base with aiding her in getting the position as well.

“I know some alumni who have worked and also been part of the fellowship programs at Heritage, and they were able to put in good words for me. Even unofficial recommendations can go a long way.”

As for parting wisdom, Emily warns that not every internship is the right internship.

“Be very careful about what internships you choose, and ask around about the internship experience. For instance, if you want to go for a congressional office, see if you can talk with some people who have been in and around that office, so you can get a feel for what it’s like.”

Emily is one of many Hillsdale students making serious strides toward a better future—and using the tools Hillsdale has given them to do it.

Luke Daigneault is an economics major who aspires to graduate with his friends in the class of 2017. He also runs on the cross country and track teams at the college.