Representatives from Binghamton University’s Career Development Center were invited to the White House last month to discuss internship opportunities for BU students.

On Jan. 6, Nancy Paul, director of the CDC, and Eileen Bauer-Hagerbaumer, assistant director for employer services, represented the University at a session hosted by the White House to discuss The White House Internship. BU, along with Cornell, Harvard and New York University, was among the 38 U.S. institutions invited to attend.

Interns in the program are given a full-time workload and are responsible for memo and speech writing, public relations tasks, as well as travel to various locations as part of the White House staff.

Paul and Bauer-Hagerbaumer agreed that BU was chosen along with other big-name universities because of the skills BU students offer, as well as the University’s commitment to public service.

“I think that the reason they want Binghamton students is because of the passion that they bring to the table,” Paul said. “The reason they invited us to the conference is because they see that the students here are so great.”

Bauer-Hagerbaumer noted that BU was the only SUNY school at the session and one of four schools from New York.

“The group of representatives was small,” Bauer-Hagerbaumer said. “Because of that, we were able to introduce ourselves. That’s when I realized that we were the only SUNY school at the session. It made me really proud.”

Paul and Bauer-Hagerbaumer said they had the opportunity to speak with current and former interns about the internship.

“They all told us of the amazing experiences they had and of the great opportunities that they got as a result of the program,” Bauer-Hagerbaumer said. “I was also glad to hear that students are welcomed as equals and are expected to take on a full-time job.”

Students may be placed in several different departments once they are accepted to the program.

“It’s amazing how many different jobs and how many people are needed to run the White House,” Paul said. “Interns are placed in the department that most suits their interest.”

Nick Lawless, a senior majoring in political science, said he thinks this internship is an excellent opportunity. He learned about the internship from the CDC and has since applied for it.

“This program interests me because this is an extraordinary opportunity not only for me, but for my family, our community and our school,” Lawless said. “With this internship I’d pretty much have a ‘Gold Star’ on my résumé that would stick out to almost any employer. I’m not saying that it would automatically give me a job, but it would definitely be the spark anyone needs in today’s job market.”

Ashley Minett, a sophomore double-majoring in political science and history, agreed that the internship is a great opportunity but worries about the economic demands of the internship.

“I think it is a great opportunity for those planning for a career in politics or for those who are simply interested in the workings of government,” Minett said. “It seems to be a great résumé-builder on top of a great learning experience. My only complaint is that it is unpaid and you must provide for your own living expenses. If it weren’t for that I would already have applied.”

Applicants may apply for the internship for fall, winter or summer sessions. Information about the internship and the application process can be found on the White House’s website.