U.S. Attorney's Office

U.S. Attorney's Office

Dear Dean Ingram:

At the beginning of my participation in the Washington Center and my internship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in the Fraud and Public Corruption Department, I established several goals in the areas of academia, professionalism, civic engagement and my personal life. In this letter, I would like to demonstrate how the different facets of my summer experiences have helped me to accomplish my original goals.

Early on, I decided to prioritize the fact that I need to make a decision of whether I wanted to attend law school. Through the experiences at my internship and the program events with The Washington Center, I have been able to get a better handle on making this decision. Although I have enjoyed my internship and the exposure to a legal career, I have decided that I am not ready to make a commitment to law school. Working in the Fraud department, I have applied my accounting knowledge in the form of forensic accounting to create exhibits for attorneys. I have found that my passion currently lies in accounting and I want to pursue a career as a CPA when I graduate in May. I have further discussed my career options with the auditor and CPA on staff in our department. Despite the fact that my internship isn’t directly related to the career path I have now chosen, I have developed my professionalism in the workplace and gained valuable experience that I can carry over to any future position. I think that if I had not taken this opportunity to get a legal internship, I would not have found my true passion and this decision would have been much more difficult. Although I am not sure if my future will hold a career in law at all, I have established a strong network of individuals in the D.C. area that will be instrumental as references in the future, yet another goal I set at the beginning of the summer. Not only have I built a substantial network of established professionals in the D.C. area, but I have also formed friendships with other interns that will hold value in my future career.

In addition to making this important life decision, I have also strived to maintain the same high academic standards that I hold for myself at the University of Iowa. I have worked diligently at my internship to meet the requests of the attorneys and I have continually sought additional projects to make the most of my experience. I have made an effort to work on my portfolio components steadily throughout the summer to ensure a quality final product. In addition to the internship component of my experience, I have taken a class in criminal law and procedure. I have completed all the requirements in the class and have studied hard for the exams and quizzes to ensure a good grade in the class.

Due to my hard work in my class, I have been able to meet another goal: integrating class concepts into my internship experiences. I have attended numerous court proceedings prosecuted by my office and have witnessed the application of the criminal laws I learned in class. I have discussed cases and proceedings with the attorneys to gain better insight on how my class concepts apply in the real world. Two attorneys I work with served the U.S. Attorney’s Office as interns many years ago, so they both understand the importance of this learning experience. These individuals have spent a lot of time discussing my future career options, the history of their cases, and my questions regarding the experiences I have had.

My time spent in D.C. this summer has allowed me to advance in my goal to become more engaged in the community. I have always found importance in campus and community involvement at the University of Iowa and in Iowa City, so I wanted to stay involved in my new community—the District of Columbia. At my internship, I have the opportunity to attend many high-profile court proceedings, such as Scooter Libby’s sentencing and Marion Barry’s probation hearing. Through these proceedings alone, I find that I have more of an interest in the current events surrounding me.

My internship supervisor organized a police ride along to give us real life look at narcotic crime in the metro area. In early June, a group of friends and I volunteered at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. Although, I have not yet chosen my candidate for the 2008 Presidential election, D.C. has given me the opportunity to preface each candidate in the running with debates, local newspapers, blogs and events in the community. I set a goal at the beginning of the summer to become more aware of my political surroundings in order to make an informed decision in the 2008 election and I have found that just living in D.C. has made my political awareness much greater.

In addition to politics, D.C. has offered several spectacular events that have allowed me to sit in the limelight of our nation and get more involved in important causes. I have attended both the Memorial Day and Fourth of July concerts at on the West Lawn of the Capitol, as well as the Memorial Day Observance Service in Arlington National Cemetery, where President Bush spoke. The fight to find a cure for breast cancer has always held a special place in my life so when the opportunity to get increase my involvement in this cause presented itself in D.C., I jumped at the chance. In early June, I participated in Susan B. Komen’s National Race for the Cure and have researched the public policy related to the cause. My findings led me to write letters to my congressmen to encourage Congress to pass the reauthorization of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, a postage stamp that has raised more than $55 million for breast cancer research in the past 9 years. Throughout these experiences, I have continued to learn the importance of staying active in the issues that I hold closest to my heart. I have confidence that my time in D.C. will help me to further implement this practice into my daily life at the University of Iowa.

Most importantly, I am thankful for every opportunity I have received this summer. I am confident that my experiences in Washington D.C. will forever shape the person I become, both professionally and socially. Upon my return to the University of Iowa, I plan to bring my experiences back to develop my leadership on campus and in the College of Business, as well as help advance my future career options.