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We asked some of our alumni to tell us their stories. Here's what they had to say about how the program has helped launch their careers.

Samantha Galing

Director of Organizing, Nevada State Education Association

Summer 1999

"SIWP was the start of my professional network and the connections I made through SIWP have been key connections throughout my career"

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Chris Weber

Associate Director of Career Advising & Corporate Outreach, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Summer 2000

"My best memories from the program include meeting then-Senator Hillary Clinton at her Senate office, and speaking with her and her staff about how to build a career in politics and government."

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Dominick Pangallo

Chief of Staff, Mayor Kimberely Driscoll of Salem, MA

Spring 2001

"In my current role I'm constantly employing lessons and skills I acquired in SIWP, including crafting persuasive messages, planning strategy, media relations, and more"

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Jill Neunaber

Executive Director, AmericaNext

Summer 2005

"It was the SIWP experience which showed me that there was a career path in the field that had captured both my heart and my imagination"

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Charlie Liebschutz

Associate Vice President, SRCPmedia

Summer 2005

"I learned more about working in politics in one summer at SIWP than I did in all the poli sci classes I took in college. The difference is the real-world experience."

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Brandon Kenig

Chairman, Kansas Young Republicans

Spring 2006

“The skills I learned at SIWP in political data modeling, election forecasting, voter outreach, and press relations were invaluable in my campaign experience.”

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Emily Crerand

Finance Director, Natalie Tennant for Senate

Summer 2007

"I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of this opportunity nor do this (work) without doing SIWP."

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Patrick Flynn

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, District of Columbia

Summer 2007

“Talking about campaigning is one thing, but actually organizing around real issues and real people in a real race is quite another. SIWP helped me realize the distinction and learn from both.” 

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Gabe Sulkes

Policy Advisor, IL Dept. of Transportation

Summer 2008

"After a summer developing a mock campaign plan for then-Senator Sununu's re-election, I serendipitously ran into the Senator in the Capitol subway system and was able to chat with him about our project" 

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Justin Spooner

Candidate, Nebraska Legislature

Spring 2011

"Thanks to a lot of what I learned in SIWP, I have been able to successfully run my own campaign for the Nebraska Legislature"

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Jess Banotai

Finance Director, Charlie Dent for Congress

Summer 2011

"My SIWP experience was invaluable in preparing me for my career. During SIWP I learned the basics of a campaign and my internship exposed me to fundraising"

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Caroline Kotila

Membership & Development Coordinator, Intelligent Transportation Society of America

Summer 2011

"I owe a great deal of my professional history and success to the Semester in Washington and Native American Political Leadership programs."

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Justin Elsesser

Manager of Trading & Operations, Silver Leaf Partners

Summer 2011

"When I was in SIWP I stayed on E St. and used to go jogging down by the Mall, every time I went I would run past the Federal Reserve, the State Department, and the Headquarters for the Red Cross. Then I'd come home and turn on CNBC to see something about a piece of economic data the Fed put out or how the State Department just advised on ongoing talks with another country."

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