A White House Summer
- Tamzin B. Smith Portrait Photography
Taylor Frey ’17 had a front seat to history while working as a White House intern over the summer.
Watching President Barack Obama get elected for the first time in 2008 was one of Taylor Frey’s first real experiences with politics. So working as an intern in the White House—during a summer of momentous social and political change that Obama helped initiate—was far more than just a job.
“I grew up with this president,” says Frey ’17, a double major in political science and American studies. “And I have really been inspired by this president all along the way. It was just amazing to meet somebody of that stature.”
Frey interned in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs, which oversees the cabinet secretary and deputy secretary, as well as intergovernmental programs such as the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Previous internships he’s held while at Washington College include a stint at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and working for Nate Shinagawa’s 2012 congressional campaign in New York’s 23rd District.
At the White House, he spent ten weeks working with one other intern, managing day-to-day tasks, scheduling, and other projects. He also was privileged to witness history.
“It was just an exceptional time to be at the White House,” he says. “You had the President’s agenda really upheld and strengthened throughout the period that I was there. The Affordable Care Act was upheld, and millions of young Americans like me got to keep their health insurance because of that. And the Supreme Court decided to make gay marriage the law of the land, and that’s very important to me. And things like the trade bill and the Iran deal, which are historic pieces of international affairs, happened while I was there. So it was just an amazing time to be there.”
He applied for the White House internship over the winter, thinking it would be good practice but not really expecting to get selected, “since tens of thousands of people apply. I can say I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity without people from Washington College, from the career center to the political science department to mentors in the C.V. Starr Center. Everyone here has been incredibly supportive.”
Frey, the current president of the Student Government Association, says the internship confirmed his commitment to seeking a career in public service and non-profit organizations.
“I have a passion for working in those types of environments where you’re trying to help people,” he says. “I don’t think I could be fulfilled working anywhere else.”