On July 4, Eric Morris, a senior at Idaho State University, got the opportunity of a lifetime: he was volunteering at the White House.
“It’s been one of my best experiences ever,” Morris said.
It was just one of many opportunities Morris received as an intern for the president’s executive office this summer.
How did someone from the small town of Arimo, Idaho come to Washington, DC, working for the President of the United States?
“I think the reason they hired me was because I was well surrounded by school,” Morris said.
Morris is majoring in global studies at Idaho State University, with a minor in business administration and linguistics. He heard about the internship opportunity from an ISU Global Studies alumnus who emailed the department.
The competition to enter was very high. Many of his trainee peers come from some of the most prestigious schools in the country. He credits his acceptance into the internship to his well-rounded studies at UIS, his work as a career path intern in the Department of Global Studies, and his volunteer work as Chairman of the International Affairs Council, where he had the opportunity to help organize and facilitate the Frank Church Symposium.
Morris worked in logistics in the Office of Administration. The Office of Administration provides enterprise-wide services to the entire Executive Office of the President. He works on service level agreements, using technical writing skills learned in school. “
Morris was also able to use what he learned in ISU business courses.
“They let me do statistical analysis,” he said. “They’re willing to let me make plans when I have ideas.”
Morris’ long-term goal is to be a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department. “
It’s a great opportunity for me to see what it’s like to work in the public service,” he said. “Having that on my CV will help me get where I want to go, and the relationships I create are also very important.
“People give me a chance to see how everything works. I help the organization run better and prepare to be a better public servant in the future.
Being proactive is a skill Morris is learning. He also says the internship helps him connect with people and develop teamwork and communication skills. The internship experience will help him when he applies to competitive master’s programs in international business after he earns his bachelor’s degree in the fall.
“It was a great experience,” he says. “I know people idolize those in high positions, but it’s great to see how human people are. Everyone has a kind of self-doubt. It made me realize that you can do whatever you want as long as you stick with it and work hard. I feel so lucky to have made it here.