WISH Roommate Profile: Emma Berlage

By Emma Kate Sowder| October 3, 2019

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Emma in front of the Capitol

This week, I talked to my roommate I met through WISH housing about her experience in DC. Emma Berlage is a senior along with me at Ohio State University. She is majoring in Public Management, Leadership, and Policy. Emma is graduating in December and interning at a women’s policy nonprofit this semester.

Emma and I had worked on one project together in class before we came here, but other than that I didn’t really know her at all. We were both nervous about living with people we didn’t know before, but things have worked out so well and we have really hit it off! We are both very passionate about women’s issues, nonprofits, science fiction books, history, and grocery shopping at Trader Joes. When it comes to our actual house on Capitol Hill, Emma and I both really enjoy the proximity of the Hill to everything. We both love living so close to the Metro stations, we are so close to all the museums we love, and it’s awe-inspiring to walk by the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court every day on the way to work.

Emma is really enjoying living in DC and her nonprofit job. She was most surprised by DC in how willing people are to help you make connections. Networking is essential to DC culture. To get a job or that dream position, you usually have to know someone who knows someone, who knows someone. DC culture is full of professionals who are very willing to help you make these essential connections. Emma has met many people that are willing to help her get that next connection to find the job she is excited about. DC professionals really want to help you be successful and are extremely genuine in this way.

In the future, Emma has two goals in mind, either development, and fundraising for a nonprofit with a mission she supports, or fundraising for a candidate she believes in. Either way, Emma loves development and fundraising. In the future, Emma’s dream job would be to run a nonprofit. Specifically, a DC nonprofit called “First Book” which provides resources to low-income schools and gives them books and supplies. Emma is very passionate about education equity and how it inspires kids to learn. While she is nervous about finding a job after graduation, Emma has taken advantage of her time in DC to make connections that will aide her job search in the coming months.

When asked for one piece of advice to give to students considering living in DC she said, “Take advantage of the fact that you are living on the Hill! You probably never will again and there is so much to do.”

If you’re considering a DC internship, but don’t know how to make it happen, then go to www.InternsDC.com and let WISH set you up for the ultimate DC experience and future success.

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