In only a few months in Washington, Flagler College student Abbey Fuhrer (CSS 14) believes she has already caught “Potomac Fever.” The term refers to a love of D.C. culture, traditionally associated with politics, but more broadly a love of the excitement in the capital city.
Fuhrer, a Florida native, is participating in the TFAS Capital Semester Program. Through the program she is interning full time at K-Global, a public relations and marketing firm that works on commercial and public policy-related campaigns. She and her cohort of 15 other students live within blocks of the U.S. Capitol Building and take upper level government and economic courses with some of the area universities’ top professors.
“D.C. is an awesome city. It has the metropolitan side and a historical side too. It’s a great place for young people,” Fuhrer said.
In her internship at K-Global, she has been working on different projects daily. For one project, she gets to use social media to promote bacon for a client. The blog and Twitter account are called The Baconeers.
“I get to write tweets about bacon. It’s a fun campaign to work on because the material can be funny,” Fuhrer said.
Fuhrer and the other Capital Semester students have been attending upper-level classes on government and economics, accredited through George Mason University. Classes include: Constitutional Interpretation, taught by Professor John Samples of the Cato Institute, Economic Problems and Public Policies, taught by Anne Bradley of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and visiting professor at Georgetown, and Public Policy Seminar, taught by TFAS alumna and Professor Karen Czarnecki (ICPES 88) of George Mason School of Law and Professor Richard Benedetto formerly of USA Today.
The economics class with Professor Bradley has been eye opening for Fuhrer, who has taken mainly communications courses due to her major.
“Professor Bradley is good at relaying the information so I can understand it, because I haven’t taken a class like this before,” Fuhrer said.
One of Fuhrer’s favorite classes of the semester so far was a career advice day with Professor Czarnecki. Fuhrer said Czarnecki instructed them how to make a resume, cover letter and build a LinkedIn profile. She also talked to them about networking in D.C., and how to speak to professionals about their career goals.
“The class related to everyone because in the future we all will be trying to get jobs, and a lot of us want to work in D.C.,” Fuhrer said.
Outside of classes, internship and her new Capital Semester friends, Fuhrer has been seeing unique sights in the city with her mentor, alumna Samantha Boyd (IPJ 12).
On the day that Fuhrer moved to D.C. she said one of the things she was most looking forward to during the program was the chance to try out the D.C. cuisine. Boyd took Fuhrer out to her favorite D.C. dining experience to date: Thai X-ing, an intimate restaurant that serves authentic Thai dishes.
“She guides me in my food loving ways,” Fuhrer joked. The two have more in common than food since Boyd also interned at K-Global in 2012.
Due to the Potomac Fever, Fuhrer wants to find another internship to prolong her stay in D.C. before she heads back to St. Augustine for her senior year of college.
It would be her dream to intern at NPR, where the Capital Semester students attended a briefing earlier this semester.
“I would love to be an NPR music intern,” Fuhrer said. “I grew up listening to NPR, we went to NPR this semester and it would be like the media production I do at my school.”
Fuhrer said for the rest of her time as a Capital Semester student, she will continue to be “a sponge,” soaking up as much as she can and enjoying the Potomac Fever.
For more information on Capital Semester, visit www.DCinternships.org.