Bragging Rights: Mason Student Interns for the White House
Posted: July 15, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: July 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm
By Lea Lubag
Rising senior Michael Foley has been an intern at the White House for about a month and a half this summer.
Foley was one of about 100 students selected for the summer 2011 White House Internship from a nationwide pool. The selection process required each student to submit three letters of recommendation along with their resume, as well as two essays illustrating their commitment to public service.
Foley, a government and international politics major and information technology minor, works at the Office of Presidential Correspondence (OPC), which is responsible for handling official correspondence on behalf of the president.
According to an article from ajc.com, the OPC receives up to 65,000 paper letters, 100,000 emails, 1,000 faxes and 2,500 to 3,500 phone calls per day that have been addressed to the president. The communications express concerns and ideas from private citizens to civic organizations and elected officials .
“Being able to read about the stories and hardships Americans face,” has been “a very humbling experience,” says Foley, whose responsibility it is to ensure that the letters and messages go to the appropriate departments and receive the correct responses.
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Foley says his decision to come to Mason was a “win-win situation,” based on the university’s convenient location near Washington, D.C., as well as the opportunity to compete on Mason’s track and field team.
After graduating from Mason, Foley is considering attending law school, working in public or government relations in the private sector or working in the local county government back home on Long Island.
He also has an ambitious plan for the long run.
“I have come to the decision that I intend to run for elected office within the next 10 to15 years,” says Foley.
“Having read many letters from Americans while interning in OPC has shown me that government can play an important part in people’s lives, and I intend to hold true to that conviction, hoping to serve the public in the future using what I’ve learned while interning for the White House,” he adds.
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