A Texas A&M student had the rare opportunity to intern at the White House this last summer.
The White House Internship Program provides students the opportunity to serve on the White House team by participating in meetings, providing support for staff members and performing various tasks based on the department they are placed in, according to the White House website.
Business management senior Nathan Mize took part in the program from June 24 to Aug. 7 after learning about the internship opportunity from a relative.
“I had a cousin-in-law who did the internship program three years ago,” Mize said. “Last December, I filled out the application. I heard back from them in March, did a series of interviews, did a lot of application stuff and security clearance, and I was notified in April that I had gotten the internship.”
With his acceptance to the program, Mize became one of 90 interns who would serve as part of the White House team. Mize said he applied because of his career path interests and the opportunity to work with President Donald Trump’s administration.
“I knew it was… a career I might want to enter into,” Mize said. “I was using this summer as an opportunity to see it and gain more insight if that’s something I would want to do full time. I’m also a supporter of the president; I felt like getting to play a super small role in his administration would be the chance of a lifetime.”
After getting accepted to the program, Mize said interns could indicate which of the 30 offices they would like to work. Mize was placed in the White House Management Office.
“Our job — it was kind of a wide array of things,” Mize said. “We were basically the communication hub for all White House offices. So, [anything] coronavirus-related, we were the people reaching out to every office in the White House and letting them know the updates.”
The internship program functioned differently this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mize said.
“[The pandemic] shortened it from 12 weeks to six weeks,” Mize said. “Also, we were normally going to have about 10 different speaker panels with different speakers, but we only got to go to three. For the most part, though, it largely remained the same as far as the duties, tasks and responsibilities.”
The internship program afforded Mize the unique opportunity to see the inner workings of the White House.
“I definitely walked away with so much more insight than I ever thought I would come out with at the beginning,” Mize said. “What I was most impressed by was the amount of people that are there… to work for the president, just ordinary people that are like doing their best every single day, doing the small things right.”
Mize attributed his time at A&M as part of the reason he could perform well as a White House intern.
“Being a student at Texas A&M provided me with a really unique chance of being a good intern there just because of the core values that we hold dear,” Mize said. “I would say that the biggest core value that I took away was selfless service, and that really added to my ability to be a good intern there and represent Texas A&M well.”