This semester, Emmanuel College junior Donna Mayo, of Commerce, had the opportunity to participate in The Fund for American Studies program in Washington, D.C.

Emmanuel College junior Donna Mayo, of Commerce, recently participated in The Fund for American Studies program in Washington, D.C.

Mayo, a pre-law major, was introduced to the program after she reached out to history professor, Bob Fulton inquiring about potential internship opportunities.

“I remember him telling me it was a very competitive program, but that it was worth a shot to apply,” she said. “Fulton helped me through the interview process and without him none of this would be possible.”

What started as a dream opportunity for Mayo, quickly became a reality. Now, as one of the 14 interns in the TFAS Leadership in the American Presidency program, Mayo is experiencing a semester in the nation’s capital.

Students in this program will spend the semester in Washington, D.C. where they’ll grow as leaders and have the opportunity to explore careers in public policy, service and politics while gaining the professional experience needed to break into these fields.

“Every day is different,” Donna said. “We don’t know when we’ll have a zoom call with the Department of Defense or the Department of Ag, etc. It’s ever-changing. I take 12 credit hours at George Mason University and intern at Cool Blue Media, so every day is different.”

Cool Blue Media specializes in the use of virtual reality by the healthcare industry, something Mayo finds interesting.

“I’m interested in going into medical malpractice law so learning the new way that healthcare is going with VR is fascinating,” she said. “I’m a psych minor and using the classes I’ve taken I can see how everything intermixes.”

With the program ending on April 30, Mayo believes she learned a lot during her stay in the nation’s capital.

One lesson she took away from the program is to not be afraid to shoot your shot.

“Networking has been important during my time here,” she said. “I had a lot of additional zoom calls with top attorneys I’ve reached out to learn more about the field I want to go into. I had dinner with one who told me to let him know if I’m ever in DC again and need an internship. I have a coffee date planned with a top family law attorney in Georgia when I get back home as well.”

What advice would she give to other students looking to land a dream internship or job?

“Never be afraid,” she said. “Don’t let someone else tell you what you can or can’t do. I’m only 19 years old and have always been told that I am too young. I f I would have let that stop me and listened to everyone else, I wouldn’t have graduated high school early and would be in the position I am in right now. The worst someone can say is no. Never be afraid to shoot your shot – more doors will open than you know.”


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