Democratic National Committee
Intern: Noé España
Major: Economics & Chicanx Studies
Supervisor: Liz Mariapen, Operations Manager
Interviewer: Noé, can you tell us about the roles and responsibilities of your internship at the DNC?
Noé: A lot of the projects I’m working on right now have to do with our security programs and making sure we’re up to date with security standards. I’m also working with the FEC (Federal Election Commission) to make sure we’re following federal guidelines and regulations and making sure we're not violating campaign finance laws. I’ve done data entry and operations. When other departments need help, they’ll come to get us.
Interviewer: Ms. Mariapen, can you tell us about your position here and what roles and responsibilities come with that title?
Ms. Mariapen: I’m the Operations Manager for the Democratic National Committee. Prior, I was an Operations Assistant. I do a lot of business operations and help with logistical needs. I also work with outside vendors, organize events, conduct daily operations, assist with large meetings and conferences — basically anything this building needs to run effectively. Right now we’re preparing infrastructure for 2020 — doing anything we can now so when we get a candidate we have everything ready for them.
Interviewer: Noé, how does this internship relate to your career aspirations? Has it informed your goals for the future?
Noé: I like business but I also like politics. This [internship] has helped me figure out there’s a side to politics that isn’t lobbying. There’s a whole different side to politics that I wasn’t aware of. As for the future, I was contemplating getting a master’s in public policy — I really want an MBA. That is strategic, [because] you can transfer from the private sector to anything.
Interviewer: Ms. Mariapen, what kinds of skills does the DNC look for in prospective interns?
Ms. Mariapen: It depends on department placement. They don’t necessarily have to have political experience, but it’s a plus. [We look for] multitaskers, people able to work on teams and independently, and people willing to do the work and who are dedicated to our mission. Our internship is a little different because we let our interns get very involved. They do the work that I do — they’re involved, making decisions, and being relied on. They are part of the team for real.
Noé: Diverse outside experience always helps. And being able to communicate effectively with people.
Interviewer: What are some of the skills you’ve utilized and developed the most while being here?
Noé: Time management, definitely. You have to perfect your time management skills and communication skills. We’re sitting right outside [the office of] the CFO, the CEO, Chairman Perez. It’s important, in a professional environment like this, to be able to communicate with people who are at the head of the DNC, and also communicate with your peers.
Interviewer: Ms. Mariapen, can you tell us what Noé’s work has been like here?
Ms. Mariapen: I think his responsibilities vary because he’s either given something on the fly or a long term project. It could concern security or our upcoming meeting in August, which he’ll also be attending. He’s helped with so many things here — reviewing and selecting applicants for the next internship, data entry, phone calls, screenings, and meetings.
Interviewer: Noé, what kind of advice would you give someone looking for similar internship opportunities?
Noé: Really being able to have a strong resume and knowing how to format resumes and cover letters and fill out applications correctly. Also being able to highlight some of the skills you might not think people are looking for — being able to communicate, having interpersonal skills, and keeping your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.