“TFAS gave me my first ‘real’ taste with news writing and reporting,” said Libby George, an alumna of the Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ) and the International Institute for Political and Economic Studies (IIPES).
In fact she says the people that she met at her TFAS internship in 2002 helped her find job openings when she moved to D.C., which directly led to her first job at Congressional Quarterly.
These tales of TFAS alumni using their connections, experiences and gained knowledge to help them find their first jobs are not uncommon; however they never cease to be inspiring.
“During my summer in IPJ, I interned at the Bureau of National Affairs’ Daily Report for Executives. I was 19 at the time, and apart from writing for the editorial board of my college paper and serving as editor-in-chief of my high school paper, I had no journalism experience prior,” said George.
She took her TFAS experience and built on it, as she acquired four impressive internships after her first summer in D.C.
Throughout her college career, George interned for the Rochester Post-Bulletin in 2003, the D.C. Press Office of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.) in 2004, the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 2004 and with the Dow Jones Newswires in 2005.
As previously mentioned, upon graduation, George searched for jobs in D.C. and landed her first position at Congressional Quarterly where she served as the committees reporter from 2005-2006 and then as the social policy reporter from 2006-2008.
In 2008, she left Washington to move to the U.K. in order to begin her course work at the London School of Economics and Political Science. George is now studying for her MSc in International Relations and will be awarded a Master’s degree this December.
Throughout this time in graduate school, she has continued to freelance write and report for the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Still, George credits TFAS for where she is today.
“For someone who grew up and went to college in the Midwest, it would have been incredibly difficult to start a journalism career in D.C. without having experienced the city through TFAS. That summer was also my first time in D.C. as an adult, and I loved being surrounded by other politically engaged, intelligent people who were passionate about making a career in the nation’s capital. The time there, and the friends I made, helped smooth the move to D.C. I made three years later.”
“Additionally, while I was looking for an apartment, I stayed with a good friend I made during IPJ and IIPES (Jenna Welch). Participating in the TFAS programs gave me an enormous leg up in my career and also enabled me to meet amazing people, some of whom I now count among my best friends.”
George is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in journalism and political science and a history minor; she was also nominated to Phi Beta Kappa honors society.
George served as a mentor for IPJ students when she was living in Washington, participated in the TFAS Leadership Fellows program in 2008 and has also recruited colleagues and friends to serve as mentors for current TFAS students.