The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: EMORY HOLZER '22

Emory Holzer '22

Emory Holzer '22 interning at the White House Internship Porgram during the 2019 summer term. 

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Emory Holzer '22 interned with the White House Internship Porgram during the 2019 summer term. 

This past summer, I had the honor to participate in the White House Internship Program along with 102 other motivated students from around the country passionate about government. I was placed into the Office of Presidential Gifts and Protocol within the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the largest department within the White House. The Office of Presidential Correspondence is tasked with communicating directly with the American people and relaying their thoughts and concerns the President. OPC receives and responds to all letters, emails, calls, and gifts from the American constituency, drafts presidential proclamations, and facilitates assistance for individuals requesting help from the Executive Office of the President. I was fortunate to be placed with the Office of Presidential Gifts and Protocol. The small team in this office handles all gifts sent to the President and White House staff from the American people, elected officials, and foreign states. The office ensures compliance with White House ethics rules on accepting gifts, catalogues all gifts for presidential records, and determines specific gifts that are of particular historical or artistic value to be preserved in National Archives. 

In addition to daily office tasks, the White House Internship Program facilitates weekly programming that gives all interns a more well-rounded exposure to the people and sights within Washington, D.C. A weekly speaker series provides the opportunity to listen to and engage with White House senior staff, cabinet members, and elected officials. During my internship we had the opportunity to hear from many accomplished individuals such as Secretary Ben Carson, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Kellyanne Conway, Vice President Mike Pence, and President Donald Trump. We also had the opportunity to tour the Supreme Court of the United States, the Decatur House Museum with White House Historian Matthew Costello, and the West and East Wings of the White House. Further, we were able to give back to the community through volunteering with the National Parks Service working on the beautification of the President’s Park. 

One of my favorite memories was the opportunity to meet with White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison. As politics and baking are my two biggest interests, I shared my desire to meet with Susie with the White House Internship Program Office. I am so grateful that they were able to arrange a meeting. Susie showed me the pastry shop, chocolate shop, and the kitchen. As a staff member who has worked at the White House since the Clinton Administration, she provided me with interesting insights into the nuances of her role. This and many other experiences taught me that gratitude is the most important quality in an intern. In one of the most prestigious internship programs in the country, it is easy to sometimes lose appreciation and gain an entitlement. In my internship, humility and gratitude are just as important as how quickly and accurately one can complete the work. When I learned to cherish every moment, and when I was able to fully appreciate the value of my experience, I made people want to give me additional responsibility. And for that, I am so grateful to the Rockefeller Center for making this opportunity possible. At Dartmouth, I look forward to continuing to learn about government and law. 

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

 

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