June 28, 2012

Former APAC Member Completes White House Internship

Sophia Magill.
By Emma Heemskerk, MUPP
(Master of Urban Planning and Policy)
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs

“MY DAILY White House internship experience was nothing less than awesome,” Sophia Magill, former APAC member, 2009-2011, remarked in a  recent interview about her completion of a highly sought-after internship in the White House.

IN HER full-time, three-and-a-half month placement in the Office of Presidential Personnel (PPO) as a National Security Team, Intern she assisted with searching for candidates to be considered to serve in the Obama Administration.

MAGILL, WHO at UIC had been Associate Director, Programming, Campus Programs, explained that she worked “to uphold the high standards set forth. Day after day the Americans that I encountered were truly remarkable and I was constantly reinvigorated by others’ desire to serve this great nation.”

THE MISSION of the White House Internship Program is to make the Executive Branch accessible to future leaders from around the nation, and to cultivate and prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities. The program invites Spring, Summer, and Fall interns to apply.

INTERNSHIP APPLICATION requirements for Magill included two essays, an explanation of her commitment to public service, a professional policy memo, two letters of reference, a resume, and application form. After an interview process, Magill received confirmation in late 2011 that she had been accepted for a placement as a National Security Team Intern and secured housing in preparation to join the team.

AS PART of her duties, she reviewed resumes for Presidential appointment consideration, conducted interest calls, and assisted with in-person interviews. She also conducted public records checks on potential candidates to ensure the President’s highest standards of ethics and aptitude were upheld. “In addition to the guidance from the staff whom I worked closely with, I also was assigned a mentor who helped to provide invaluable insight and professional advice,” Magill noted. “Through the White House Internship Program, I had the opportunity to strengthen my resume, practice interview skills, and develop my personal theme to guide my professional track.”

MAGILL ALSO  had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Additionally, through Speakers Series and Professional Development Groups, she met and interacted with top senior White House staff members and top departmental appointees.

“SERVING THE local Washington, DC, community was also a prevalent part of our internship experience as we regularly participated in service projects,” Magill explained. “It was during these moments of cleaning up a cemetery during the National Day of Service and Remembrance, serving a warm meal to the homeless at Miriam's Kitchen, and playing games joyfully with children at the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Washington Area that I really felt the magnificent spirit of serving others.

“THIS OFTEN majestic experience of working at the White House as an intern ultimately humbled me as I recognized not only the importance of public service, but the amazing ability I have to give to others,” Magill concluded.

FOR MORE information about White House internships, visit www.whitehouse.gov/internships.

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