Web Extra! Methodist Colleges develop Washington D.C. internship program

by Brandon Newell

The Capitol Hill Internship Program will become a part of Simpson College’s class offerings next semester.

Sponsored by the United Methodist College Washington Consortium, students will have the opportunity to live and learn on Capitol Hill.

According to Political Science professor John Epperson, current and former students have had a positive experience in Washington. When Nebraska Weslyan asked Simpson to join them in the development of a better internship program, they were quick to move.

“The model was developed after a Lutheran program currently in the works by other schools,” said Epperson. “The program looked to be a good one, especially in regards to monetary value, indicating it was cheaper than most programs out there.”

Epperson expects the CHIP program to be competitive with other programs in Washington, D.C.

“Other programs like American or Washington Universities, two other options for students, enroll around 100 students. This program however is tailored for 15-16 students resulting in participants getting more bang for their buck,” said Epperson.

Epperson said the program exemplifies the ‘Simpson Experience,’ one of reasons for initiating the program at Simpson College.

“This program will allow students to have the opportunity to have a significant learning experience in Washington,” said Epperson. “The program itself is designed to accommodate a wide range of interests for students and places them accordingly. For example, someone could go to Washington and literally work for anybody such as lobbyist groups, CNN media or consulting firms.”

Washington, D.C. is a prime spot for college students to seek internship opportunities because of the wealth of employers available for people of all academic backgrounds, according to Epperson.

“Washington is a place that literally lives off of all sorts of interns because the amount of work required would not get done or would be neglected without them,” he said.

Future participants can find the process of enlisting in the program to be a very simple process by simply by contacting Epperson who is Simpson’s campus liaison.

“The application process is fairly straight forward with resumes and transcripts,” he said. “If students are interested, they should contact me, that way I can get them in touch with our insider in Washington, Doug Stinell, to begin the process of matching the student’s needs and desires with the program.”

The program promotes paying tuition to your school, so it is potentially open to any serious student who would be willing to roll up their sleeves and do some good work professionally.

“The notion is to not turn anyone down, as long as they maintain excellent academic standings,” said Epperson. “Students have to realize that what they do in Washington with their performance will reflect back towards the school’s program image.”