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Meet Caroline Kenny, ’15

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C of C chapter.


Year of graduation: 2015

Major: Political Science and Communication, with a minor in Spanish

What are you involved in on campus? I am involved with Student Alumni Associates, which works with alumni of the university to preserve traditions and the legacy of the college, and also serves as a great way to network with students and graduates. I have served as the entertainment director on the Dance Marathon executive board, I am a sister of Phi Mu sorority, I’m active in the Honors College, and I work in the Athletics Communications department.

What is the DC Semester? The South Carolina Honors Semester in Washington Program is an internship-based program where honors students from universities in South Carolina spend a semester in DC while interning and taking 2 to 3 classes to earn a full semester of credit. The first step is to find and apply for an internship in a field you are interested in, and work for full-time, 5 days a week. We take 3 classes while in Washington: A Debating Contemporary Washington Issues class, a Theatre class where we go see a variety of shows in DC’s vibrant theatre community, and a political lecture class offered by Don Fowler, who is from South Carolina and used to serve as the chair of the Democratic National Committee.


Give us a rundown of an “average” day for you in DC: I work in the Political Department at the Democratic National Committee so my days are full of interesting tasks, meetings, hearings and fun. The Political department is the direct link from the Democratic party to elected officials and candidates across the country. We also provide DNC members with political briefings about the area they are visiting before a campaign trip. These briefings provide a detailed analysis of what is going on in the races in that state, who is running, what the polls look like, who has endorsed who, who has raised substantial funds, etc. I get to the office early in the AM and start working on looking at recently released polls and email them out to the department. For example, the New York City mayoral race and the US Senate race between Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan in New Jersey is of high interest to us, so we look carefully at those races and their proceedings every day. After disseminating the polls, I pull together news clips from every race we are following around the country. After sending out the clips, I get to work on piecing together the briefings, which we usually have 3 to 4 to do a day. This can include writing about a certain issue affecting a state such as the Affordable Care Act, Marriage Equality or Voter ID Laws.

Meetings for the committee on which I serve, the launching of a Democratic women’s group, are often scattered throughout the day. I also sit in on conference calls with campaign coordinators and prepare event memos when a dinner of rally is being held or a call sheet when a Democrat has won a race. We also get to work on and attend a variety of special events, fundraisers and campaign events. For example, the Democrats are campaigning in Virginia this weekend for Terry McAuliffe (who is running for governor), and we have the Women’s Leadership Forum in two weeks! All the interns get to do fun things too, like answering constituent calls, attending DNC parties on the roof, and all going out to eat together.

Seeing as the government is currently shutdown, how does this affect you, living in DC? Personally, my job has not been affected by the shutdown since I work for a political party and not the government. However, I live in a house of several students from South Carolina, and some of them work in government offices (the Department of Justice, Congressional offices, etc.) and they have been furloughed and have not been in their offices to work very much. At work, a lot of the trips we plan have been pulled since the principals have to focus on resolving the shutdown and not on campaigning. Also, our cultural lives in DC have been seriously affected. All the monuments, the Smithsonian museums and the zoo, and the parks have been closed. We haven’t been here very long so I haven’t gotten to experience many of these sites so I hope that it is resolved soon so I can take full advantage of the city!

What do you miss most about Charleston? I definitely miss the college life in general. Having a full-time job and nightly obligations is different and sometimes tiring, and nothing like the college schedule. I miss being done with class after only a few hours each day and meeting up with friends throughout the day. I work 9-6 and have class most nights from 7-10 so my schedule is completely booked! Charleston is also a lot smaller and more college-friendly than DC. Taking the metro to a restaurant or to go shopping across town is time-consuming, expensive and sometimes a hassle, but in Charleston you can walk everywhere and be there within a few minutes! DC is a great learning experience and an extremely thriving and culturally diverse city, but Charleston is home.

Camilla States is a member of the class of 2015 at The College of Charleston.  She hails from the seaside town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where she enjoys spending her summers on both land and sea.  A Communications major also pursuing a minor in Political Science, Camilla aspires for a future career in broadcast or print journalism. She is also studying Modern Standard Arabic, with hopes of one day becoming proficient in the language. From a young age, Camilla has held a fascination for world geography and foreign cultures.  She hopes to someday traverse the world, from New England to New Zealand and everywhere in between.