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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reflections of a Rockefeller Center Funded White House Intern: Ariel Murphy '12

“The Rockefeller Center's Internship Funding Program is phenomenal, and has provided me with an unforgettable opportunity to learn more about public policy and gain a better understanding of public service. Financially, it would have been extremely difficult to take part in the White House Internship Program, but through the generosity of the Rockefeller Center, I was able to take a huge step forward in the exploration of my professional and academic interests. As a former First-Year Fellow, I can also say that the Rockefeller Center has really helped to shape my Dartmouth experience.”  – Ariel Murphy ’12, in her internship self-evaluation 
During the fall 2010 term, Ariel Murphy ’12 had the opportunity to participate in the White House internship program with the support of a funding grant provided by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. During her tenure as an intern for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, Ariel had a chance to get an inside look at the Executive branch of the federal government, and served successfully as a community service project leader. In her internship report, Ariel reflects on this experience as she writes,
“In addition to developing our commitment to public service, the White House Internship Program also strives to ensure that interns walk away with a number of unique experiences, and I can appreciatively say that I have walked away from this internship having received countless opportunities. For example, gaining knowledge about the personal and professional paths of senior staff members, like Senior Adviser to the President Valerie Jarrett, and principals, like First Lady Michelle Obama, is one gift that I have been able to walk away with through the Speaker Series.”
Ariel had completed not only the Center's Civic Skills Training, but also the Management and Leadership Development Program.  The skills, tools and topics covered were put into good use in her time as a White House intern according to her final reflection report.  By working and volunteering at the White House, Ariel was able to gain new appreciation of civil servants. She noted that "the Executive Branch of the federal government is a place powered by the hard work and diligence of American citizens like you and me." 

Finally, although Ariel was physically far away from Dartmouth, she found that alums and her connections to the College were invaluable assets to her internship experience and stay in D.C. From the advice she received from a current Dartmouth student who was a  former White House intern, to working under the supervision of a Dartmouth alum in the Obama administration, Ariel’s connection to Dartmouth remained strong even while away. As she describes,
“I have learned is that Dartmouth is never too far away. In addition to reporting to Jodi Gillette ‘91, a Dartmouth Alum, I was given a rare opportunity to work at the September 20th CNBC Town Hall Event with President Obama as a temporary CNBC intern because of my affiliation with Dartmouth. Being able to reach out to and connect with other Dartmouth students and alumni in the DC area has truly been a comforting experience that I will always treasure."

Ariel was one of seven interns who completed Fall 2010 Public Policy Internships with funding support from the Rockefeller Center.  You can read more about the Fall 2010 funded interns at the Rocky web site.