Smith School Student Takes Advantage of Close Proximity to Washington, D.C.
White House Intern
Senior supply chain management major Ryan Brown took the Robert H. Smith School
of Business’ mission of “connecting in the Nation’s Capital” very seriously. He
took the spring 2010 semester off to take advantage of the University of Maryland,
College Park’s, close proximity to Washington, D.C., by working as an intern in
the White House Travel Office.
“Coming from Buffalo, N.Y., I chose the University of Maryland because of the
limitless opportunities provided by the campus's proximity to Washington, D.C. and
Baltimore,” he said. “The Smith School was a natural fit because of my interest
in entrepreneurship, general business and finance.”
Brown found out about the White House Internship through
Not long after he discovered the internship on his own, one of his professors mentioned
the internship to his class: “I ended up working on the application with a fellow
classmate who was applying at the same time.”
To Brown, the internship at the White House was a way for him to serve his country
and the president. He found the program to be truly unique because of the opportunity
to work at the Executive Office of the President.
“As a business student, I know to do work that makes me passionate. Working in
the White House Travel Office made the job very easy,” he said. “It was an inclusive
environment that presented challenging work and required unique problem solving
The White House Travel Office organizes the White House Press Pool’s travel arrangements
and logistics as they move with the president around the country and the world.
Brown was able to assist with the Travel Office doing jobs such as reserving hotel
rooms, preparing press workspaces and transmission rooms, catering, and figuring
out transportation between sites.
“It was an incredibly rewarding office to work in because of the work’s real-world
nature. My tasks included assisting the staff with general office functions, helping
members of the press properly book their travel and aiding with the additional workload
that large domestic or international trips present,” he explained. “One of my fondest
memories was being able to join the staff on a domestic trip and experience what
it is like to prepare for and execute a presidential visit.”
For Brown, this presidential visit included traveling to Iowa, where the president
was conducting a town hall meeting at a community college in Ottumwa: “At the event
site and during the trip, I worked as an assistant for my manager as the Press Pool
traveled and reported along the way. It was thrilling to see how efficiently the
national press travels and reports on the President using modern technology to make
sure they provide accurate and consistent coverage. I was impressed to learn about
the amount of time and planning invested by the White House Press Pool to effectively
cover the President. Additionally, the Travel Office works very hard with the press
to make sure that all arrangements and needs are met while the press travels; it
was fascinating to be a part of that relationship.”
Brown was able to attend a few events at which President Barack Obama was present
and was pleasantly surprised to receive a group photo with the president at the
close of Brown’s internship.
Another added perk: “Being able to enter the White House grounds through West
Executive Avenue every day. Few individuals ever get to pass through the main gate
at the White House so I always considered it a privilege when going to work.”
Although he had to take a semester off of school, battle traffic daily in Washington
and find housing down in the capital away from his classmates, Brown said he recommends
“I believe it is important for students to take advantage of the university’s
close proximity to D.C. My internship was a once in a lifetime experience that helped
me grow professionally. I highly recommend Maryland students take advantage of any
similar internship opportunities,” he said.
Jessica Bauer, Writer and Editor, Office of Marketing Communications