An interview by Star Fellow Spring 2013 Jessica LaVigne
What semester were you a Star Fellow?
What inspired you to apply for the Star Fellowship?
I was a political science and journalism & mass communication double major at UNC-Chapel Hill, and I had done a number of internships with journalism, but I had not really been involved in politics. I wanted to explore politics and gain some experience to see if I liked it. I learned about the Star Fellowship through the political science listserv at UNC, so I applied for it. I also love D.C., so the opportunity to move here after graduation appealed to me.
What was your favorite part of being a Star Fellow?
My favorite part of being a Star Fellow was probably the connections I made, in addition to the experience on the Hill. First of all, the other Star Fellows and the three other roommates in our Wish house that were not with Running Start were wonderful. I instantly made 9 great friends, and I still keep in contact with all of them. In fact, I still live with one of the girls now. Secondly, I met some pretty amazing mentors and friends that have really helped me here in D.C. through my internship. The scheduler for the Congresswoman I interned for is one of my good friends now, and she has introduced me to so many more people in D.C. that have really looked out for me. I am now North Carolina’s Cherry Blossom Princess, which is an opportunity I received through mentors in my office, and I am so excited for that experience which will no doubt give me the opportunity to network with some wonderful people from across the U.S. I met many mentors through Running Start that have been instrumental in helping me “make it” in D.C.
What are you doing now?
I am now interning for Vital Voices, which is an international women’s rights organization. Running Start is actually involved with our political arm, and I hope to either work here at the end of my internship in May or at another similar non-profit. I also waitress at 201 bar and Union Pub at night.